Against ‘functional gravitational energy’: a critical note on functionalism, selective realism, and geometric objects and gravitational energy

Synthese 199 (S2):299-333 (2019)

Abstract

The present paper revisits the debate between realists about gravitational energy in GR and anti-realists/eliminativists. I re-assess the arguments underpinning Hoefer’s seminal eliminativist stance, and those of their realist detractors’ responses. A more circumspect reading of the former is proffered that discloses where the so far not fully appreciated, real challenges lie for realism about gravitational energy. I subsequently turn to Lam and Read’s recent proposals for such a realism. Their arguments are critically examined. Special attention is devoted to the adequacy of Read’s appeals to functionalism, imported from the philosophy of mind.

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Citations of this work

Dark Matter = Modified Gravity? Scrutinising the Spacetime–Matter Distinction Through the Modified Gravity/ Dark Matter Lens.Niels C. M. Martens & Dennis Lehmkuhl - 2020 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part B: Studies in History and Philosophy of Modern Physics 72:237-250.
Cartography of the Space of Theories: An Interpretational Chart for Fields That Are Both (Dark) Matter and Spacetime.Niels C. M. Martens & Dennis Lehmkuhl - 2020 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part B: Studies in History and Philosophy of Modern Physics 72:217-236.

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