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  1. Wave-Functionalism.Valia Allori - 2021 - Synthese 199 (5-6):12271-12293.
    In this paper I present a new perspective for interpreting the wavefunction as a non-material, non-epistemic, non-representational entity. I endorse a functional view according to which the wavefunction is defined by its roles in the theory. I argue that this approach shares some similarities with the nomological account of the wave function as well as with the pragmatist and epistemic approaches to quantum theory, while avoiding the major objections of these alternatives.
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  • What Does the World Look Like According to Superdeterminism.Augustin Baas & Baptiste Le Bihan - 2020 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science.
    The violation of Bell inequalities seems to establish an important fact about the world: that it is non-local. However, this result relies on the assumption of the statistical independence of the measurement settings with respect to potential past events that might have determined them. Superdeterminism refers to the view that a local, and determinist, account of Bell inequalities violations is possible, by rejecting this assumption of statistical independence. We examine and clarify various problems with superdeterminism, looking in particular at its (...)
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  • Modal Realism and the Possibility of Island Universes: Why There Are No Possible Worlds.Jiri Benovsky - 2021 - Metaphysica 22 (1):1-13.
    In this article, I defend Lewisian modal realism against objections arising from the possibility of ‘Island Universes’ and other similar cases. The problem comes from Lewis’ claim that possible worlds are spatio-temporally isolated. I suggest a modification of Lewisian modal realism in order to avoid this family of objections. This modification may sound quite radical since it amounts to abandoning the very notion of a possible world, but as radical as it may sound it in fact remains well in the (...)
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  • Spacetime Emergence in Quantum Gravity: Functionalism and the Hard Problem.Baptiste Le Bihan - 2021 - Synthese 199 (2):371–393.
    Spacetime functionalism is the view that spacetime is a functional structure implemented by a more fundamental ontology. Lam and Wüthrich have recently argued that spacetime functionalism helps to solve the epistemological problem of empirical coherence in quantum gravity and suggested that it also (dis)solves the hard problem of spacetime, namely the problem of offering a picture consistent with the emergence of spacetime from a non-spatio-temporal structure. First, I will deny that spacetime functionalism solves the hard problem by showing that it (...)
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  • String Theory, Loop Quantum Gravity and Eternalism.Baptiste Le Bihan - 2020 - European Journal for Philosophy of Science 10:17.
    Eternalism, the view that what we regard locally as being located in the past, the present and the future equally exists, is the best ontological account of temporal existence in line with special and general relativity. However, special and general relativity are not fundamental theories and several research programs aim at finding a more fundamental theory of quantum gravity weaving together all we know from relativistic physics and quantum physics. Interestingly, some of these approaches assert that time is not fundamental. (...)
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  • L’éternité sans le temps.Baptiste Le Bihan - 2018 - Revue Philosophique De Louvain 116 (3):441-462.
    L'éternalisme implique une forme exotique d'éternité : toute entité, aussi éphémère soit-elle et quelle que soit sa localisation dans le temps, existe relativement à toute autre localisation temporelle. Cet essai vise, premièrement, à défendre l'éternalisme en exhibant les difficultés rédhibitoires du présentisme et du non-futurisme, et deuxièmement à examiner de quelle manière l'éternalisme pourrait être amendé à l'aune d'une affirmation que l'on trouve sous la plume de certains physiciens, à savoir que, fondamentalement, le temps n'existe pas. La disparition du temps (...)
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  • Empirically Incoherent Quantum Gravity.Joshua Norton - 2021 - Theoria 87 (6):1349-1379.
    It is argued that certain quantum theories of gravity — string theory, loop quantum gravity, non-commutative field theory — do not include spacetime as part of their fundamental ontology. There is a concern in the literature that theories of this kind are physically opaque and empirically incoherent. In this paper, I clarify and amend Huggett and Wüthrich’s argument against these claims. Whereas the content of this paper centres on the disappearance and re-emergence of spacetime in quantum gravity, much of the (...)
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  • The Metaphysics of Emergent Spacetime Theories.Niels C. M. Martens - 2019 - Philosophy Compass 14 (7).
    The debate concerning the ontological status of spacetime is standardly construed as a dilemma between substantivalism and relationalism. I argue that a trilemma is more appropriate, emergent spacetime theories being the third category. Traditional philosophical arguments do not distinguish between emergent spacetime and substantivalism. It is arguments from physics that suggest giving up substantivalism in favour of emergent spacetime theories. The remaining new dilemma is between emergent spacetime and relationalism. I provide a list of questions, which one should consider when (...)
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  • Laws Beyond Spacetime.Vincent Lam & Christian Wuthrich - unknown
    Quantum gravity's suggestion that spacetime may be emergent and so only exist contingently would force a radical reconception of extant analyses of laws of nature. Humeanism presupposes a spatiotemporal mosaic of particular matters of fact on which laws supervene; primitivism and dispositionalism conceive of the action of primitive laws or of dispositions as a process of 'nomic production' unfolding over time. We show how the Humean supervenience basis of non-modal facts and primitivist or dispositionalist accounts of nomic production can be (...)
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  • On the Empirical Coherence and the Spatiotemporal Gap Problem in Quantum Gravity: And Why Functionalism Does Not (Have to) Help.Niels Linnemann - 2020 - Synthese 199 (S2):395-412.
    The empirical coherence problem of quantum gravity is the worry that a theory which does not fundamentally contain local beables located in space and time—such as is arguably the case for certain approaches to quantum gravity—cannot be connected to measurements and thus has its prospects of being empirically adequate undermined. Spacetime functionalism à la Lam and Wüthrich is said to solve this empirical coherence problem as well as bridging a severe conceptual gap between spatiotemporal structures of classical spacetime theories on (...)
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  • Spacetime functionalism from a realist perspective.Vincent Lam & Christian Wüthrich - 2020 - Synthese 199 (Suppl 2):1-19.
    In prior work, we have argued that spacetime functionalism provides tools for clarifying the conceptual difficulties specifically linked to the emergence of spacetime in certain approaches to quantum gravity. We argue in this article that spacetime functionalism in quantum gravity is radically different from other functionalist approaches that have been suggested in quantum mechanics and general relativity: in contrast to these latter cases, it does not compete with purely interpretative alternatives, but is rather intertwined with the physical theorizing itself at (...)
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  • Why Not a Sound Postulate?Bryan Cheng & James Read - 2021 - Foundations of Physics 51 (3):1-20.
    What, if anything, would be wrong with replacing the light postulate in Einstein’s 1905 formulation of special relativity with a ‘sound postulate’, stating that the speed of sound is independent of the speed of the source? After reviewing the historical reasons underlying the particular focus on light in the special theory, we consider the circumstances under which such a theory of ‘sonic relativity’ would be justified on empirical grounds. We then consider the philosophical upshots of ‘sonic relativity’ for four contemporary (...)
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  • Eliminating Spacetime.Sam Baron - forthcoming - Erkenntnis:1-20.
    A number of approaches to quantum gravity (QG) seem to imply that spacetime does not exist. Philosophers are quick to point out, however, that the loss of spacetime should not be regarded as total. Rather, we should interpret these approaches as ones that threaten the fundamentality but not the existence of spacetime. In this paper, I argue for two claims. First, I argue that spacetime realism is not forced by QG; spacetime eliminativism remains an option. Second, I argue that eliminativism (...)
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  • A New Perspective on Time and Physical Laws.Lucy Margaret Ellen James - forthcoming - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science.
    Callender claims that `time is the great informer', meaning that the direction in which our `best' physical theories inform are temporal. This is intended to be a metaphysical claim, and as such expresses a relationship between the physical world and information-gathering systems such as ourselves. This paper gives two counterexamples to this claim, illustrating the fact that time and informative strength doubly dissociate, so the claim cannot be about physical theories in general. The first is a case where physical theories (...)
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  • On the empirical coherence and the spatiotemporal gap problem in quantum gravity: and why functionalism does not (have to) help.Niels Linnemann - 2020 - Synthese 199 (Suppl 2):1-18.
    The empirical coherence problem of quantum gravity is the worry that a theory which does not fundamentally contain local beables located in space and time—such as is arguably the case for certain approaches to quantum gravity—cannot be connected to measurements and thus has its prospects of being empirically adequate undermined. Spacetime functionalism à la Lam and Wüthrich is said to solve this empirical coherence problem as well as bridging a severe conceptual gap between spatiotemporal structures of classical spacetime theories on (...)
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  • The Landscape and the Multiverse: What’s the Problem?James Read & Baptiste Le Bihan - 2021 - Synthese 199 (3-4):7749-7771.
    As a candidate theory of quantum gravity, the popularity of string theory has waxed and waned over the past four decades. One current source of scepticism is that the theory can be used to derive, depending upon the input geometrical assumptions that one makes, a vast range of different quantum field theories, giving rise to the so-called landscape problem. One apparent way to address the landscape problem is to posit the existence of a multiverse; this, however, has in turn drawn (...)
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  • Spacetime Functionalism From a Realist Perspective.Vincent Lam & Christian Wüthrich - 2020 - Synthese 199 (S2):335-353.
    In prior work, we have argued that spacetime functionalism provides tools for clarifying the conceptual difficulties specifically linked to the emergence of spacetime in certain approaches to quantum gravity. We argue in this article that spacetime functionalism in quantum gravity is radically different from other functionalist approaches that have been suggested in quantum mechanics and general relativity: in contrast to these latter cases, it does not compete with purely interpretative alternatives, but is rather intertwined with the physical theorizing itself at (...)
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  • Quantum Gravity and Mereology: Not So Simple.Sam Baron & Baptiste Le Bihan - 2022 - Philosophical Quarterly 72 (1):19-40.
    A number of philosophers have argued in favour of extended simples on the grounds that they are needed by fundamental physics. The arguments typically appeal to theories of quantum gravity. To date, the argument in favour of extended simples has ignored the fact that the very existence of spacetime is put under pressure by quantum gravity. We thus consider the case for extended simples in the context of different views on the existence of spacetime. We show that the case for (...)
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  • From Spacetime to Space and Time: A Reply to Markosian.Baptiste Le Bihan - 2020 - Analysis 80 (3):456-462.
    In a recent article, Ned Markosian gives an argument against four-dimensionalism understood as the view that time is one of four identical dimensions that constitute a single four-dimensional manifold. In this paper, I show that Markosian attacks a straw man as his argument targets a theory known to be false on empirical grounds. Four-dimensionalism rightly conceived in no way entails that time is identical to space. I then address two objections raised by Markosian against four-dimensionalism rightly conceived.
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  • The Metaphysical Challenge of Loop Quantum Gravity.Martin Calamari - 2021 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 86:68-83.