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General Covariance and the Objectivity of Space-Time Point-Events

Lusanna, Luca and Pauri, Massimo (2005) General Covariance and the Objectivity of Space-Time Point-Events. [Preprint]

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    "The last remnant of physical objectivity of space-time" is disclosed, beyond the Leibniz equivalence, in the case of a continuous family of spatially non-compact models of general relativity. The "physical individuation" of point-events is furnished by the intrinsic degrees of freedom of the gravitational field, (viz, the "Dirac observables") that represent - as it were - the "ontic" part of the metric field. The physical role of the "epistemic" part (viz. the "gauge" variables) is likewise clarified. At the end, a peculiar four-dimensional "holistic and structuralist" view of space-time emerges which includes elements common to the tradition of both "substantivalism" and "relationism". The observables of our models undergo real "temporal change" and thereby provide a counter-example to the thesis of the "frozen-time" picture of evolution.

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    Item Type: Preprint
    Additional Information: This paper is an enlarged version of a talk given at the ESF Network International Conference on "Foundations of Space-Time Theories", Oxford, England, March 23-28, 2004.
    Keywords: Hole Argument/Space-time Objectivity/Physical Individuation/ /Dirac Observables/Gauge Freedom/Temporal Change
    Subjects: Specific Sciences > Physics > Relativity Theory
    Depositing User: Prof. Massimo Pauri
    Date Deposited: 06 Mar 2005
    Last Modified: 07 Oct 2010 11:13
    Item ID: 2224

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