Spacetime functionalism from a realist perspective

Synthese 199 (Suppl 2):1-19 (2020)

Abstract

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 the level of quantum gravity. Spacetime functionalism allows one to articulate a coherent realist perspective in the context of quantum gravity, and to relate it to a straightforward realist understanding of general relativity.

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Author Profiles

Christian Wüthrich
University of Geneva
Vincent Lam
University of Bern

References found in this work

After Physics.David Z. Albert - 2015 - Harvard University Press.
Philosophy of Physics: Quantum Theory.Tim Maudlin - 2019 - Princeton University Press.
Quantum Gravity.Carlo Rovelli - 2007 - Cambridge University Press.

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