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Niels C. M. Martens
University of Bonn
  1.  21
    Sophistry About Symmetries?Niels C. M. Martens & James Read - 2020 - Synthese 199 (1-2):315-344.
    A common adage runs that, given a theory manifesting symmetries, the syntax of that theory should be modified in order to construct a new theory, from which symmetry-variant structure of the original theory has been excised. Call this strategy for explicating the underlying ontology of symmetry-related models reduction. Recently, Dewar has proposed an alternative to reduction as a means of articulating the ontology of symmetry-related models—what he calls sophistication, in which the semantics of the original theory is modified, and symmetry-related (...)
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  2.  21
    The (Un)Detectability of Absolute Newtonian Masses.Niels C. M. Martens - 2019 - Synthese 198 (3):2511-2550.
    Absolutism about mass claims that mass ratios obtain in virtue of absolute masses. Comparativism denies this. Dasgupta, Oxford studies in metaphysics, Oxford University Press, Oxford, 2013) argues for comparativism about mass, in the context of Newtonian Gravity. Such an argument requires proving that comparativism is empirically adequate. Dasgupta equates this to showing that absolute masses are undetectable, and attempts to do so. This paper develops an argument by Baker to the contrary: absolute masses are in fact empirically meaningful, that is (...)
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  3.  27
    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.
    This paper scrutinises the tenability of a strict conceptual distinction between space and matter via the lens of the debate between modified gravity and dark matter. In particular, we consider Berezhiani and Khoury's novel 'superfluid dark matter theory' as a case study. Two families of criteria for being matter and being spacetime, respectively, are extracted from the literature. Evaluation of the new scalar field postulated by SFDM according to these criteria reveals that it is as much matter as anything could (...)
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  4.  50
    The Metaphysics of Emergent Spacetime Theories.Niels C. M. Martens - 2019 - Philosophy Compass 14 (7).
    The debate concerning the ontological status of spacetime is standardly construed as a dilemma between substantivalism and relationalism. I argue that a trilemma is more appropriate, emergent spacetime theories being the third category. Traditional philosophical arguments do not distinguish between emergent spacetime and substantivalism. It is arguments from physics that suggest giving up substantivalism in favour of emergent spacetime theories. The remaining new dilemma is between emergent spacetime and relationalism. I provide a list of questions, which one should consider when (...)
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  5.  43
    Machian Comparativism About Mass.Niels C. M. Martens - 2022 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 73 (2):325-349.
    Absolutism about mass within Newtonian gravity claims that mass ratios obtain in virtue of absolute masses. Comparativism denies this. Defenders of comparativism promise to recover all the empirical and theoretical virtues of absolutism, but at a lower ‘metaphysical cost’. This article develops a Machian form of comparativism about mass in Newtonian gravity, obtained by replacing Newton’s constant in the law of universal gravitation by another constant divided by the sum over all masses. Although this form of comparativism is indeed empirically (...)
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  6.  36
    Against Comparativism About Mass in Newtonian Gravity - a Case Study in the Metaphysics of Scale.Niels C. M. Martens - 2017 - Dissertation, University of Oxford
    This thesis concerns the metaphysics of scale. It investigates the implications of a physical determinable being dimensionful. In particular, it considers the case study of mass, as it features within Newtonian Gravity. Nevertheless, most of the terminology, methodology and arguments developed should be relatively straightforwardly applicable to other determinables and theories. -/- Weak Absolutism about mass holds that mass ratios obtain in virtue of absolute masses. Weak Comparativism denies this. In the first five chapters I argue in favour of Weak (...)
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  7.  13
    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.
  8.  29
    Regularity Comparativism About Mass in Newtonian Gravity.Niels C. M. Martens - 2017 - Philosophy of Science 84 (5):1226-1238.
    Comparativism—the view that mass ratios are not grounded in absolute masses—faces a challenge by Baker which suggests that absolute masses are empirically meaningful. Regularity comparativism uses a liberalized version of the Mill-Ramsey-Lewis Best Systems Account to have both the laws of Newtonian gravity and the absolute mass scale supervene on a comparativist Humean mosaic as a package deal. I discuss three objections to this view and conclude that it is untenable. The most severe problem is that once we have reduced (...)
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  9.  11
    Cartography of the Space of Theories: An Interpretational Chart for Fields That Are Both (Dark) Matter and Spacetime.Niels C. M. Martens & Dennis Lehmkuhl - forthcoming - Studies in History and Philosophy of Modern Physics.
    This paper pushes back against the Democritean-Newtonian tradition of assuming a strict conceptual dichotomy between spacetime and matter. Our approach proceeds via the more narrow distinction between modified gravity/spacetime and dark matter. A prequel paper argued that the novel field Φ postulated by Berezhiani and Khoury's 'superfluid dark matter theory' is as much matter as anything could possibly be, but also below the critical temperature for superfluidity as much spacetime as anything could possibly be. Here we introduce and critically evaluate (...)
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  10.  4
    Integrating Dark Matter, Modified Gravity, and the Humanities.Niels C. M. Martens, Miguel Ángel Carretero Sahuquillo, Erhard Scholz, Dennis Lehmkuhl & Michael Krämer - 2022 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 91:A1-A5.
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  11.  19
    Against Laplacian Reduction of Newtonian Mass to Spatiotemporal Quantities.Niels C. M. Martens - 2018 - Foundations of Physics 48 (5):591-609.
    Laplace wondered about the minimal choice of initial variables and parameters corresponding to a well-posed initial value problem. Discussions of Laplace’s problem in the literature have focused on choosing between spatiotemporal variables relative to absolute space or merely relative to other material bodies and between absolute masses or merely mass ratios. This paper extends these discussions of Laplace’s problem, in the context of Newtonian Gravity, by asking whether mass needs to be included in the initial state at all, or whether (...)
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  12.  11
    Against Reducing Newtonian Mass to Kinematical Quantities.Niels C. M. Martens - unknown
    It is argued that Newtonian mass cannot be reduced to kinematical quantities---distance, velocity and acceleration---without losing the explanatory and predictive power of Newtonian Gravity.
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  13.  11
    Simplicity in the Sciences and Humanities: Report on the Bonn “Simplicities and Complexities” Conference.Cristin Chall & Niels C. M. Martens - 2020 - Journal for General Philosophy of Science / Zeitschrift für Allgemeine Wissenschaftstheorie 51 (3):491-497.
    A report on the 2019 Bonn “Simplicities and Complexities” Conference, organized by "The Epistemology of the Large Hadron Collider" research unit.
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  14.  9
    Dark Matter Realism.Niels C. M. Martens - 2021 - Foundations of Physics 52 (1):1-19.
    According to the standard model of cosmology, Λ\documentclass[12pt]{minimal} \usepackage{amsmath} \usepackage{wasysym} \usepackage{amsfonts} \usepackage{amssymb} \usepackage{amsbsy} \usepackage{mathrsfs} \usepackage{upgreek} \setlength{\oddsidemargin}{-69pt} \begin{document}$$\Lambda $$\end{document}CDM, the mass-energy budget of the current stage of the universe is not dominated by the luminous matter that we are familiar with, but instead by some form of dark matter. It is thus tempting to adopt scientific realism about dark matter. However, there are barely any constraints on the myriad of possible properties of this entity—it is not even certain that it is (...)
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