Spacetime functionalism from a realist perspective

Synthese 199 (S2):335-353 (2020)
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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

Vincent Lam
University of Bern
Christian Wüthrich
University of Geneva

Citations of this work

Quantum Gravity and Mereology: Not So Simple.Sam Baron & Baptiste Le Bihan - 2022 - Philosophical Quarterly 72 (1):19-40.
Eliminating Spacetime.Sam Baron - 2021 - Erkenntnis (3):1-20.
Eliminating Spacetime.Sam Baron - 2021 - Erkenntnis 88 (3):1289-1308.
The many problems of spacetime emergence in quantum gravity.Rasmus Jaksland & Kian Salimkhani - forthcoming - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science.

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References found in this work

Philosophy of Physics: Quantum Theory.Tim Maudlin - 2019 - Princeton: Princeton University Press.
Emergent spacetime and empirical (in) coherence.Nick Huggett & Christian Wüthrich - 2013 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Modern Physics 44 (3):276-285.
Have we Lost Spacetime on the Way? Narrowing the Gap between General Relativity and Quantum Gravity.Baptiste Le Bihan & Niels Siegbert Linnemann - 2019 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part B: Studies in History and Philosophy of Modern Physics 65 (C):112-121.
Spacetime is as spacetime does.Vincent Lam & Christian Wüthrich - 2018 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part B: Studies in History and Philosophy of Modern Physics 64:39-51.

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