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Physically locating the present: a case of reading physics as a contribution to philosophy

Brading, Katherine (2012) Physically locating the present: a case of reading physics as a contribution to philosophy. [Preprint]


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In this paper I argue that reading history of physics as a contribution to history of philosophy is important for contemporary philosophy of physics. My argument centers around a particular case: special relativity versus presentism. By means of resources drawn from reading aspects of Newton's work as contributions to philosophy, I argue that there is in physics an alternative way to approach what we mean by "present" such that (without adding any preferred foliation or anything like that) presentism remains an open empirical question whose refutation requires resources that go beyond those of special relativity. I offer this as an example of one fruitful way in which we pursue integrated HPS.

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Item Type: Preprint
Keywords: &HPS; Newton; special relativity; presentism; law-constitutive
Subjects: Specific Sciences > Physics > Classical Physics
General Issues > History of Philosophy of Science
Specific Sciences > Physics > Relativity Theory
Depositing User: Katherine A. Brading
Date Deposited: 09 Nov 2012 13:40
Last Modified: 09 Nov 2012 13:40
Item ID: 9429

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