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Length Matters (I) - The Einstein--Swann Correspondence and the Constructive Approach to the Special Theory of Relativity

Hagar, Amit (2007) Length Matters (I) - The Einstein--Swann Correspondence and the Constructive Approach to the Special Theory of Relativity. In: UNSPECIFIED.

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Abstract

In this paper and its sequel I discuss a rarely mentioned correspondence between Einstein and W.F.G. Swann on the constructive approach to the special theory of relativity, in which Einstein points out that the attempts to construct a dynamical explanation of relativistic kinematical effects require postulating a minimal length scale in the level of the dynamics. I use this correspondence to shed light on several issues under dispute in current philosophy of spacetime that were highlighted recently in Harvey Brown's monograph "Physical Relativity", namely, Einstein's view on the distinction between principle and constructive theories, and the philosophical consequences of pursuing the constructive approach to the special theory of relativity.


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Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (UNSPECIFIED)
Creators:
CreatorsEmailORCID
Hagar, Amit
Additional Information: This is the revised version, taking into account referees' input
Keywords: Principle and constructive theories, Einstein, Relativity Theories, Quantum Theory, Substantivalism, Relationalism
Subjects: General Issues > Structure of Theories
General Issues > Explanation
Specific Sciences > Physics > Relativity Theory
General Issues > History of Science Case Studies
Depositing User: Amit Hagar
Date Deposited: 03 Oct 2007
Last Modified: 07 Oct 2010 15:15
Item ID: 3560
URI: http://philsci-archive.pitt.edu/id/eprint/3560

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