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Presentism in a World Denied Instantaneous Signals

Nasmith, Benjamin B (2011) Presentism in a World Denied Instantaneous Signals. [Preprint]

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    Abstract

    The special theory of relativity (STR) is widely regarded as the primary threat to the otherwise intuitive presentist worldview. In particular, both the relativity and conventionality of simultaneity within STR appear to undermine presentism and support eternalism. However, these classic arguments merely establish the mutual independence of the relevant concepts of simultaneity. The subsequent debate hinges on whether presentism or eternalism best accounts for the principle of relativity. It is demonstrated that the presentist may obtain the principle of relativity by simply prohibiting instantaneous signals between distant events. Many common objections to the presentist Neo-Lorentzian interpretation of STR are answered in light of this demonstration. Therefore, one is free to choose between presentism and eternalism for some reason other than STR.


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    Item Type: Preprint
    Keywords: Presentism, Special Relativity, Conservation Laws, Conventionality
    Subjects: General Issues > Conventionalism
    General Issues > Laws of Nature
    Specific Sciences > Physics > Relativity Theory
    Specific Sciences > Physics > Symmetries/Invariances
    Depositing User: Mr. Benjamin Nasmith
    Date Deposited: 11 Oct 2011 08:31
    Last Modified: 11 Oct 2011 08:31
    Item ID: 8836
    URI: http://philsci-archive.pitt.edu/id/eprint/8836

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