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What Can We Learn about the Ontology of Space and Time from the Theory of Relativity?

Norton, John D. (2001) What Can We Learn about the Ontology of Space and Time from the Theory of Relativity? (Unpublished)

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Abstract

In the exuberance that followed Einstein’s discoveries, philosophers at one time or another have proposed that his theories support virtually every conceivable moral in ontology. I present an opinionated assessment, designed to avoid this overabundance. We learn from Einstein’s theories of novel entanglements of categories once held distinct: space with time; space and time with matter; and space and time with causality. We do not learn that all is relative, that time in the fourth dimension in any non-trivial sense, that coordinate systems and even geometry are conventional or that spacetime should be reduced ontologically to causal, spatio-temporal or other relations.


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Details

Item Type: Article
Status: Unpublished
Creators/Authors:
CreatorsEmailPitt UsernameORCID
Norton, John D.jdnorton@pitt.eduJDNORTON
Date: 2001
Date Type: Publication
Institution: University of Pittsburgh
Schools and Programs: Dietrich School of Arts and Sciences > History and Philosophy of Science
Refereed: No
Uncontrolled Keywords: Einstein, space, time, spacetime, relativity, gravitation
Date Deposited: 06 Aug 2009 19:36
Last Modified: 25 Aug 2017 05:11
URI: http://d-scholarship.pitt.edu/id/eprint/2750

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