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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
Creators:
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Belot, Gordon
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 11:28
Last Modified: 06 Jun 2011 11:28
Item ID: 8655
URI: http://philsci-archive.pitt.edu/id/eprint/8655

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