The Essence of Space-Time

Abstract

I argue that Norton & Earman's hole argument, despite its historical association with General Relativity, turns upon very general features of any linguistic system that can represent substances by names. After exploring various means by which mathematical objects can be interpreted as representing physical possibilities, I suggest that a form of essentialism can solve the hole dilemma without abandoning either determinism or substantivalism. Finally, I identify the basic tenets of such an essentialism in Newton's writings and consider how they can be updated to apply to the case provided by General Relativity.

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2011-05-29

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Tim Maudlin
New York University

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Citations of this work

Metaphysical Rationalism.Shamik Dasgupta - 2016 - Noûs 50 (2):379-418.
Spacetime the One Substance.Jonathan Schaffer - 2009 - Philosophical Studies 145 (1):131 - 148.
Regarding the ‘Hole Argument’.James Owen Weatherall - 2018 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 69 (2):329-350.

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