Does general relativity highlight necessary connections in nature?
- Antonio Vassallo
The dynamics of general relativity is encoded in a set of ten differential equations, the so-called Einstein field equations. It is usually believed that Einstein’s equations represent a physical law describing the coupling of spacetime with material fields. However, just six of these equations actually describe the coupling mechanism: the remaining four represent a set of differential relations known as Bianchi identities. The paper discusses the physical role that the Bianchi identities play in general relativity, and investigates whether these identities—qua part of a physical law—highlight some kind of a posteriori necessity in a Kripkean sense. The inquiry shows that general relativistic physics has an interesting bearing on the debate about the metaphysics of the laws of nature.
- Record ID
- Journal series
- Synthese, ISSN 0039-7857, e-ISSN 1573-0964
- Issue year
- Publication size in sheets
- Keywords in English
- General relativity; Laws of nature; Necessity; Bianchi identities; Humeanism; Background independence
- ASJC Classification
- DOI:10.1007/s11229-020-03009-z Opening in a new tab
- https://doi.org/10.1007/s11229-020-03009-z Opening in a new tab
- (en) English
- Score (nominal)
- Score source
- = 200.0, 23-05-2021, ArticleFromJournal
- Publication indicators
- : 2016 = 1.149; : 2019 (2 years)= 1.436 - 2019 (5 years)=1.305
- Uniform Resource Identifier
* presented citation count is obtained through Internet information analysis and it is close to the number calculated by the Publish or PerishOpening in a new tab system.