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Background-Independence

Belot, Gordon (2011) Background-Independence. [Preprint]

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    Abstract

    Intuitively speaking, a classical field theory is back-ground-independent if the structure required to make sense of its equations is itself subject to dynamical evolution, rather than being imposed ab initio. The aim of this paper is to provide an explication of this intuitive notion. Background-independence is not a not formal property of theories: the question whether a theory is background-independent depends upon how the theory is interpreted. Under the approach proposed here, a theory is fully background-independent relative to an interpretation if each physical possibility corresponds to a distinct spacetime geometry; and it falls short of full background-independence to the extent that this condition fails.


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    Item Type: Preprint
    Additional Information: Forthcoming in General Relativity and Gravitation
    Keywords: Background-independence; general covariance; general relativity; asymptotic boundary conditions
    Subjects: Specific Sciences > Physics > Fields and Particles
    Specific Sciences > Physics > Relativity Theory
    Specific Sciences > Physics > Symmetries/Invariances
    Depositing User: Gordon Belot
    Date Deposited: 06 Jun 2011 07:28
    Last Modified: 06 Jun 2011 07:28
    Item ID: 8655
    URI: http://philsci-archive.pitt.edu/id/eprint/8655

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