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Lorentzian theories vs. Einsteinian special relativity - a logico-empiricist reconstruction

Szabo, Laszlo E. (2010) Lorentzian theories vs. Einsteinian special relativity - a logico-empiricist reconstruction. [Preprint]

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    Abstract

    It is widely believed that the principal difference between Einstein's special relativity and its contemporary rival Lorentz-type theories was that while the Lorentz-type theories were also capable of “explaining away” the null result of the Michelson-Morley experiment and other experimental findings by means of the distortions of moving measuring-rods and moving clocks, special relativity revealed more fundamental new facts about the geometry of space-time behind these phenomena. I shall argue that special relativity tells us nothing new about the geometry of space-time, in comparison with the pre-relativistic Galileo-invariant conceptions; it simply calls something else "space-time", and this something else has different properties. All statements of special relativity about those features of reality that correspond to the original meaning of the terms "space" and "time" are identical with the corresponding traditional pre-relativistic statements. It will be also argued that special relativity and Lorentz theory are completely identical in both senses, as theories about space-time and as theories about the behavior of moving physical objects.


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    Item Type: Preprint
    Additional Information: Forthcomming in A. Maté, M. Rédei and F. Stadler (eds.), Vienna Circle and Hungary - Veröffentlichungen des Instituts Wiener Kreis, Springer.
    Keywords: Lorentz theory, special relativity, space, time, relativity principle, Lorentz's principle, operationalism, conventionalism, privileged reference frame
    Subjects: General Issues > Theory/Observation
    Specific Sciences > Physics > Relativity Theory
    General Issues > History of Science Case Studies
    General Issues > Operationalism/Instrumentalism
    General Issues > Conventionalism
    General Issues > Logical Positivism/Logical Empiricism
    Depositing User: Laszlo E. Szabo
    Date Deposited: 08 May 2010
    Last Modified: 07 Oct 2010 11:19
    Item ID: 5339
    URI: http://philsci-archive.pitt.edu/id/eprint/5339

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