Preprint / Version 1

The Ontology of General Relativity

Authors

DOI:

https://doi.org/10.13140/RG.2.2.11641.93281

Keywords:

ontology, general relativity, epistemology, spacetime

Abstract

General Relativity generated various early philosophical interpretations. His adherents have highlighted the "relativization of inertia" and the concept of simultaneity, Kantians and Neo-Kantians have underlined the approach of certain synthetic "intellectual forms" (especially the principle of general covariance, and logical empirics have emphasized the philosophical methodological significance of the theory.
Reichenbach approached the GR through the "relativity of geometry" thesis, trying to build a "constructive axiomatization" of relativity based on "elementary matters of fact" (Elementartatbestande) for the observable behavior of light rays, rods and clocks.
The mathematician Hermann Weyl attempted a reconstruction of Einstein's theory based on the epistemology of a "pure infinitesimal geometry", an extended geometry with additional terms that formally identified with the potential of the electromagnetic field.

Author Biography

Nicolae Sfetcu, Romanian Academy

Researcher - Romanian Academy - Romanian Committee for the History and Philosophy of Science and Technology (CRIFST), History of Science Division (DIS)

References

Brown, Harvey R. 2015. Physical Relativity: Space-Time Structure from a Dynamical Perspective. Oxford University Press. http://www.oxfordscholarship.com/view/10.1093/0199275831.001.0001/acprof-9780199275830.

Cassirer, Ernst. 1921. “Zur Einstein’schen Relativitätstheorie: Erkenntnistheoretische Betrachtungen.” 1921. https://books.google.ro/books/about/Zur_Einstein_schen_Relativit%C3%A4tstheorie.html?id=I60-AAAAYAAJ&redir_esc=y.

Duhem, Pierre, Jules Vuillemin, and Louis de Broglie. 1991. The Aim and Structure of Physical Theory. Translated by Philip Wiener. 9932nd edition. Princeton: Princeton University Press.

Earman, John. 1992. World Enough and Space-Time: Absolute versus Relational Theories of Space and Time. Cambridge, Mass.: A Bradford Book.

Einstein, Albert (Author). 1918. “Motive des Forschens.” 1918.

Esfeld, Michael, and Vincent Lam. 2008. “Moderate Structural Realism about Space-Time.” Synthese 160 (1): 27–46. https://doi.org/10.1007/s11229-006-9076-2.

———. 2011. “Ontic Structural Realism as a Metaphysics of Objects.” In Scientific Structuralism, edited by Alisa Bokulich and Peter Bokulich, 143–159. Springer Science+Business Media.

Grünbaum, Adolf. 1970. “Space, Time and Falsifiability Critical Exposition and Reply to ‘A Panel Discussion of Grünbaum’s Philosophy of Science.’” Philosophy of Science 37 (4): 469–588.

———. 2012. Philosophical Problems of Space and Time: Second, Enlarged Edition. Springer Science & Business Media.

Hilbert, D. 1917. “Die Grundlagen der Physik. (Zweite Mitteilung).” Nachrichten von der Gesellschaft der Wissenschaften zu Göttingen, Mathematisch-Physikalische Klasse 1917: 53–76. https://eudml.org/doc/58973.

Howard, Don. 1996. “Relativity, Eindeutigkeit, and Monomorphism: Rudolf Carnap and the Development of the Categoricity Concept in Formal Semantics.” Origins of Logical Empiricism 16.

Howard, Don A. 2017. “Einstein’s Philosophy of Science.” In The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy, edited by Edward N. Zalta, Fall 2017. Metaphysics Research Lab, Stanford University. https://plato.stanford.edu/archives/fall2017/entries/einstein-philscience/.

Huggett, Nick, and Carl Hoefer. 2018. “Absolute and Relational Theories of Space and Motion.” In The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy, edited by Edward N. Zalta, Spring 2018. Metaphysics Research Lab, Stanford University. https://plato.stanford.edu/archives/spr2018/entries/spacetime-theories/.

Ladyman, James, and Don Ross. 2007. Every Thing Must Go: Metaphysics Naturalized. Oxford University Press.

Lam, Vincent, and Michael Esfeld. 2012. “The Structural Metaphysics of Quantum Theory and General Relativity.” Journal for General Philosophy of Science / Zeitschrift Für Allgemeine Wissenschaftstheorie 43 (2): 243–258.

Misner, Charles, Kip S. Thorne, John Wheeler, and David Kaiser. 2017. Gravitation. Princeton, N.J: Princeton University Press.

Norton, John D. 2012. “What Can We Learn About the Ontology of Space and Time From the Theory of Relativity?”

Pooley, Oliver. 2012. “Substantivalist and Relationalist Approaches to Spacetime.” Preprint. 2012. http://philsci-archive.pitt.edu/9055/.

Reichenbach, Hans. 1928. Philosophie der Raum-Zeit-Lehre. Walter de Gruyter.

Rendall, Alan D. 2005. “The Nature of Spacetime Singularities.” ArXiv:Gr-Qc/0503112, 76–92. https://doi.org/10.1142/9789812700988_0003.

Romero, Gustavo E. 2013. “The Ontology of General Relativity.” ArXiv:1301.7330 [Gr-Qc, Physics:Physics]. http://arxiv.org/abs/1301.7330.

Ryckman, Thomas A. 2018. “Early Philosophical Interpretations of General Relativity.” In The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy, edited by Edward N. Zalta, Spring 2018. Metaphysics Research Lab, Stanford University. https://plato.stanford.edu/archives/spr2018/entries/genrel-early/.

Schilpp, Paul Arthur, and Paul Arthur Schilpp. 1959. Albert Einstein : Philosopher-Scientist. 1st Harper Torchbook ed. New York : Harper. https://trove.nla.gov.au/work/10548922.

Schlick, Moritz. 1921. “Kritizistische Oder Empiristische Deutung Der Neuen Physik?” Société Française de Philosophie, Bulletin 26 (n/a): 96.

Weingard, Robert. 1976. “On the Ontological Status of the Metric in General Relativity.” The Journal of Philosophy. 1976. https://doi.org/10.2307/2025012.

Weyl, Hermann, and H. Weyl. 1993. Raum, Zeit, Materie: Vorlesungen über allgemeine Relativitätstheorie. Edited by Jürgen Ehlers. 8th edition. Berlin: Springer.

Downloads

Posted

2023-08-23