A Metaphysical Reflection on the Notion of Background in Modern Spacetime Physics
AbstractThe paper presents a metaphysical characterization of spatiotemporal backgrounds from a realist perspective. The conceptual analysis is based on a heuristic sketch that encompasses the common formal traits of the major spacetime theories, such as Newtonian mechanics and general relativity. It is shown how this framework can be interpreted in a fully realist fashion, and what is the role of background structures in such a picture. In the end it is argued that, although backgrounds are a source of metaphysical discomfort, still they make a spacetime theory easy to interpret. It is also suggested that this conclusion partially explains why the notion of background independence carries a lot of conceptual difficulties.
|Publication size in sheets||0.8|
|Book||Felline Laura, Ledda Antonio, Paoli Francesco, Rossanese Emanuele (eds.): New Directions in Logic and the Philosophy of Science, The SILFS series , vol. 3, 2016, College Publications, ISBN 978-1-84890-160-5, 380 p.|
|Keywords in English||Background structure; spacetime theory; nomic necessity; dynamical sameness; principle of reciprocity; substantive general covariance; background independence.|
|Not used for evaluation||yes|
|Citation count*||1 (2020-08-20)|
* presented citation count is obtained through Internet information analysis and it is close to the number calculated by the Publish or Perish system.