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  1. The Hole Argument Against Everything.Joshua Norton - 2020 - Foundations of Physics 50 (4):360-378.
    The Hole Argument was originally formulated by Einstein and it haunted him as he struggled to understand the meaning of spacetime coordinates in the context of the diffeomorphism invariance of general relativity. This argument has since been put to philosophical use by Earman and Norton to argue against a substantival conception of spacetime. In the present work I demonstrate how Earman and Norton’s Hole Argument can be extended to exclude everything and not merely substantival manifolds. These casualties of the hole (...)
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  • Recombining Non-Qualitative Reality.Sam Cowling - 2021 - Synthese 198 (3):2273-2295.
    Haecceitism and Hume’s Dictum are each controversial theses about necessity and possibility. According to haecceitism, there are qualitatively indiscernible possible worlds that differ only with respect to which individuals occupy which qualitative roles. According to Hume’s Dictum, there are no necessary connections between distinct entities or, as Humeans sometimes put it, reality admits of “free recombination” so any entities can co-exist or fail to co-exist. This paper introduces a puzzle that results from the combination of haecceitism and Hume’s Dictum. This (...)
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  • Confessions of a (Cheap) Sophisticated Substantivalist.Carolyn Brighouse - 2020 - Foundations of Physics 50 (4):348-359.
    I illustrate a challenge to a view that is a response to the Hole Argument. The view, sophisticated substantivalism, has been claimed to be the received view. While sophisticated substantivalism has many defenders, there is a fundamental tension in the view that has not received the attention it deserves. Anyone who defends or endorses sophisticated substantivalism, should acknowledge this challenge, and should either show why it is not serious or explain how to respond to it.
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  • Interpreting Non-Hausdorff (Generalized) Manifolds in General Relativity.Joanna Luc & Tomasz Placek - 2020 - Philosophy of Science 87 (1):21-42.
    The article investigates the relations between Hausdorff and non-Hausdorff manifolds as objects of general relativity. We show that every non-Hausdorff manifold can be seen as a result of gluing together some Hausdorff manifolds. In the light of this result, we investigate a modal interpretation of a non-Hausdorff differential manifold, according to which it represents a bundle of alternative space-times, all of which are compatible with a given initial data set.
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  • On Representational Capacities, with an Application to General Relativity.Samuel C. Fletcher - 2020 - Foundations of Physics 50 (4):228-249.
    Recent work on the hole argument in general relativity by Weatherall has drawn attention to the neglected concept of models’ representational capacities. I argue for several theses about the structure of these capacities, including that they should be understood not as many-to-one relations from models to the world, but in general as many-to-many relations constrained by the models’ isomorphisms. I then compare these ideas with a recent argument by Belot for the claim that some isometries “generate new possibilities” in general (...)
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  • Causal Determinism.Carl Hoefer - 2008 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
  • Haecceitism.Sam Cowling - 2015 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
  • How to Be a Spacetime Substantivalist.Trevor Teitel - 2022 - Journal of Philosophy 119 (5):233-278.
    The consensus among spacetime substantivalists is to respond to Leibniz's classic shift arguments, and their contemporary incarnation in the form of the hole argument, by pruning the allegedly problematic metaphysical possibilities that generate these arguments. Some substantivalists do so by directly appealing to a modal doctrine akin to anti-haecceitism. Other substantivalists do so by appealing to an underlying hyperintensional doctrine that implies some such modal doctrine. My first aim in this paper is to pose a challenge for all extant forms (...)
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  • A Conceptual Analysis of Julian Barbour's Time.Maria Kon - 2012 - Dissertation, University of Leeds
    One of Julian Barbour’s main aims is to solve the problem of time that appears in quantum geometrodynamics (QG). QG involves the application of canonical quantization procedure to the Hamiltonian formulation of General Relativity. The problem of time arises because the quantization of the Hamiltonian constraint results in an equation that has no explicit time parameter. Thus, it appears that the resulting equation, as apparently timeless, cannot describe evolution of quantum states. Barbour attempts to resolve the problem by allegedly eliminating (...)
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  • Lawful Persistence.David Builes & Trevor Teitel - forthcoming - Philosophical Perspectives.
    The central aim of this paper is to use a particular view about how the laws of nature govern the evolution of our universe in order to develop and evaluate the two main competing options in the metaphysics of persistence, namely endurantism and perdurantism. We begin by motivating the view that our laws of nature dictate not only qualitative facts about the future, but also which objects will instantiate which qualitative properties. We then show that both traditional doctrines in the (...)
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  • Substantivalist and Relationalist Approaches to Spacetime.Oliver Pooley - 2013 - In Robert Batterman (ed.), The Oxford Handbook of Philosophy of Physics. Oxford University Press.
    Substantivalists believe that spacetime and its parts are fundamental constituents of reality. Relationalists deny this, claiming that spacetime enjoys only a derivative existence. I begin by describing how the Galilean symmetries of Newtonian physics tell against both Newton's brand of substantivalism and the most obvious relationalist alternative. I then review the obvious substantivalist response to the problem, which is to ditch substantival space for substantival spacetime. The resulting position has many affinities with what are arguably the most natural interpretations of (...)
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  • Closing the Hole Argument.Hans Halvorson & John Byron Manchak - forthcoming - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science.
    The hole argument purportedly shows that spacetime substantivalism implies a pernicious form of indeterminism. We show that the argument is seductive only because it mistakes a trivial claim (viz. there are isomorphic models) for a significant claim (viz. there are hole isomorphisms). We prove that the latter claim is false -- thereby closing the debate about whether substantivalism implies indeterminism.
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  • The Bare Necessities.Shamik Dasgupta - 2011 - Philosophical Perspectives 25 (1):115-160.
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  • Conceivability Arguments for Haecceitism.Sam Cowling - 2017 - Synthese 194 (10):4171-4190.
    According to haecceitism, some maximal possibilities differ even while they are qualitatively indiscernible. Since haecceitism is a modal thesis, it is typically defended by appeal to conceivability arguments. These arguments require us to conceive of qualitatively indiscernible possibilities that differ only with respect to the identity of the individuals involved. This paper examines a series of conceivability arguments for haecceitism and a variety of anti-haecceitist responses. It concludes that there is no irresistible conceivability argument for haecceitism even while anti-haecceitist responses (...)
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  • Non-Qualitative Properties.Sam Cowling - 2015 - Erkenntnis 80 (2):275-301.
    The distinction between qualitative properties like mass and shape and non-qualitative properties like being Napoleon and being next to Obama is important, but remains largely unexamined. After discussing its theoretical significance and cataloguing various kinds of non-qualitative properties, I survey several views about the nature of this distinction and argue that all proposed reductive analyses of this distinction are unsatisfactory. I then defend primitivism, according to which the distinction resists reductive analysis.
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  • Relationism Rehabilitated? II: Relativity.Oliver Pooley - 2001
    In a companion paper (Pooley & Brown 2001) it is argued that Julian Barbour's Machian approach to dynamics provides a genuinely relational interpretation of Newtonian dynamics and that it is more explanatory than the conventional, substantival interpretation. In this paper the extension of the approach to relativistic physics is considered. General relativity, it turns out, can be reinterpreted as a perfectly Machian theory. However, there are difficulties with viewing the Machian interpretation as more fundamental than the conventional, spacetime interpretation. Moreover, (...)
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  • Symmetry & Possibility: To Reduce or Not Reduce?Dean Rickles - unknown
    In this paper I examine the connection between symmetry and modality from the perspective of `reduction' methods in geometric mechanics. I begin by setting the problem up as a choice between two opposing views: reduction and non-reduction. I then discern four views on the matter in the literature; they are distinguished by their advocation of distinct geometric spaces as representing `reality'. I come down in favour of non-reductive methods.
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  • The Path To Supersubstantivalism.Joshua D. Moulton - unknown
    This dissertation is divided into two parts. In the first part I defend substantivalism. I do this by offering, in chapter 1, a counterpart-theoretic defense of substantivalism from Leibniz’ shift arguments. Then, in chapter 2, I defend substantivalism from the hole argument and argue, against the consensus, that the question of haecceitism is irrelevant to substantivalism in the context of general relativity. In the second part of the dissertation I defend supersubstantivalism. I do this by offering, in chapter 3, an (...)
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  • Background Independence: Lessons for Further Decades of Dispute.Trevor Teitel - 2019 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part B: Studies in History and Philosophy of Modern Physics 65:41-54.
    Background independence begins life as an informal property that a physical theory might have, often glossed as 'doesn't posit a fixed spacetime background'. Interest in trying to offer a precise account of background independence has been sparked by the pronouncements of several theorists working on quantum gravity that background independence embodies in some sense an essential discovery of the General Theory of Relativity, and a feature we should strive to carry forward to future physical theories. This paper has two goals. (...)
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  • Particles, Objects, and Physics.Justin Pniower - unknown
    This thesis analyses the ontological nature of quantum particles. In it I argue that quantum particles, despite their indistinguishability, are objects in much the same way as classical particles. This similarity provides an important point of continuity between classical and quantum physics. I consider two notions of indistinguishability, that of indiscernibility and permutation symmetry. I argue that neither sort of indistinguishability undermines the identity of quantum particles. I further argue that, when we understand in distinguishability in terms of permutation symmetry, (...)
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  • Holes in Spacetime: Some Neglected Essentials.Trevor Teitel - 2019 - Journal of Philosophy 116 (7):353-389.
    The hole argument purports to show that all spacetime theories of a certain form are indeterministic, including the General Theory of Relativity. The argument has given rise to an industry of searching for a metaphysics of spacetime that delivers the right modal implications to rescue determinism. In this paper, I first argue that certain prominent extant replies to the hole argument—namely, those that appeal to an essentialist doctrine about spacetime—fail to deliver the requisite modal implications. As part of my argument, (...)
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  • New Perspectives on the Hole Argument.Bryan W. Roberts & James Owen Weatherall - 2020 - Foundations of Physics 50 (4):217-227.
    This special issue of Foundations of Physics collects together articles representing some recent new perspectives on the hole argument in the history and philosophy of physics. Our task here is to introduce those new perspectives.
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  • Laplace’s Demon Tries on Aristotle’s Cloak: On Two Approaches to Determinism.Tomasz Placek - 2019 - Synthese 196 (1):11-30.
    The paper describes two approaches to determinism: one focuses on the features of global objects, such as possible worlds or models of a theory, whereas the other’s concern is the possible behaviour of individual objects. It then gives an outline of an individuals-based analysis of the determinism of theories. Finally, a general relativistic spacetime with non-isometric extensions is described and used to illustrate a conflict between the two approaches: this spacetime is indeterministic by the first approach but deterministic by the (...)
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  • Naturalism and Non-Qualitative Properties.Sam Cowling - 2021 - In Luis R. G. Oliveira & Kevin J. Corcoran (eds.), Common Sense Metaphysics: Essays in Honor of Lynne Rudder Baker. Routledge. pp. 209-238.
    Lynne Baker’s case for the incompatibility of naturalism with the first-person perspective raises a range of questions about the relationship between naturalism and the various properties involved in first-person perspectives. After arguing that non-qualitative properties—most notably, haecceities like being Lynne Baker—are ineliminably tied to first-person perspectives, this paper considers whether naturalism and non-qualitative properties are, in fact, compatible. In doing so, the discussion focus on Shamik Dasupgta’s argument against individuals and, in turn, non-qualitative properties. Several strategies for undermining Dasgupta's argument (...)
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  • I Ain’T Afraid of No Ghost.John Dougherty - 2021 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 88:70-84.
    This paper criticizes the traditional philosophical account of the quantization of gauge theories and offers an alternative. On the received view, gauge theories resist quantization because they feature distinct mathematical representatives of the same physical state of affairs. This resistance is overcome by a sequence of ad hoc modifications, justified in part by reference to semiclassical electrodynamics. Among other things, these modifications introduce "ghosts": particles with unphysical properties which do not appear in asymptotic states and which are said to be (...)
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  • The Hole Argument, take n.John Dougherty - 2020 - Foundations of Physics 50 (4):330-347.
    I apply homotopy type theory to the hole argument as formulated by Earman and Norton. I argue that HoTT gives a precise sense in which diffeomorphism-related Lorentzian manifolds represent the same spacetime, undermining Earman and Norton’s verificationist dilemma and common formulations of the hole argument. However, adopting this account does not alleviate worries about determinism: general relativity formulated on Lorentzian manifolds is indeterministic using this standard of sameness and the natural formalization of determinism in HoTT. Fixing this indeterminism results in (...)
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  • Some Philosophical Prehistory of the (Earman-Norton) Hole Argument.James Owen Weatherall - 2020 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part B: Studies in History and Philosophy of Modern Physics 70:79-87.
    The celu of the philosophical literature on the hole argument is the 1987 paper by Earman \& Norton ["What Price Space-time Substantivalism? The Hole Story" Br. J. Phil. Sci.]. This paper has a well-known back-story, concerning work by Stachel and Norton on Einstein's thinking in the years 1913-15. Less well-known is a connection between the hole argument and Earman's work on Leibniz in the 1970s and 1980s, which in turn can be traced to an argument first presented in 1975 by (...)
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  • Algebraic Structuralism.Neil Dewar - 2019 - Philosophical Studies 176 (7):1831-1854.
    This essay is about how the notion of “structure” in ontic structuralism might be made precise. More specifically, my aim is to make precise the idea that the structure of the world is given by the relations inhering in the world, in such a way that the relations are ontologically prior to their relata. The central claim is the following: one can do so by giving due attention to the relationships that hold between those relations, by making use of certain (...)
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