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Symmetry, Structure, and Spacetime, Volume 3 : Volume 3 - Dean Rickles

Symmetry, Structure, and Spacetime, Volume 3

Volume 3

Hardcover

Published: 26th November 2007
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In this book Rickles considers several interpretative difficulties raised by gauge-type symmetries (those that correspond to no change in physical state). The ubiquity of such symmetries in modern physics renders them an urgent topic in philosophy of physics. Rickles focuses on spacetime physics, and in particular classical and quantum general relativity. Here the problems posed are at their most pathological, involving the apparent disappearance of spacetime Rickles argues that both traditional ontological positions should be replaced by a structuralist account according to which relational structure is what the physics is about.
- Unified treatment of gauge symmetries and their relationship to ontology in physics
- Brings philosophy of space and time into step with developments in modern physics
- Argues against the received view on the implications of symmetries in physics
- Provides elementary treatments of technical issues
- Illustrates a novel defense of structuralism

Prefacep. v
Acknowledgementsp. ix
Interpretation and Formalismp. 1
Interpretation and ontologyp. 1
Symmetry and structurep. 11
Permutation symmetry and possibilityp. 15
A very brief primer on classical and quantum systemsp. 19
Space and Time in the Leibniz-Clarke Debatep. 23
Substantivalism versus relationalismp. 24
Inflation versus deflationp. 31
Leibniz versus Clarkep. 32
Sophisticated substantivalism and unsophisticated relationalismp. 35
Looking ahead to the modern debatep. 39
The Interpretation of Gauge Symmetriesp. 45
Maxwellian electromagnetismp. 46
Aspects of gauge theoriesp. 50
Interpretive problems of gauge theoriesp. 58
Why gauge?p. 69
Spacetime in General Relativityp. 73
Manifold substantivalismp. 74
Models and worldsp. 78
The hole argument: The view from gauge theoryp. 81
Responding to the Hole Problemp. 89
Troubles with determinismp. 90
The modalist turnp. 98
Varieties of relationalismp. 114
What Is an Observable in General Relativity?p. 128
Defining observablesp. 130
What is the significance of relational localization?p. 134
Time, Change, and Gaugep. 139
Holes and gauge: A brief recapp. 139
What is the problem of time?p. 141
A snapshot of the philosophical debatep. 144
Catalogue of responsesp. 153
Enter structuralismp. 165
Quantum gravity and spacetime ontologyp. 168
Symmetry and Ontologyp. 173
To reduce or not reduce?p. 173
Geometric mechanics and possibility spacesp. 175
Four views on reductionp. 178
Structuralism and Symmetryp. 189
Three types of structuralismp. 191
To take objects or to leave them?p. 197
Surplus, semantic universalism and minimal structuralismp. 203
Minimal structuralism is not constructive empiricismp. 212
Referencesp. 217
Subject Indexp. 227
Table of Contents provided by Ingram. All Rights Reserved.

ISBN: 9780444531162
ISBN-10: 0444531165
Series: Philosophy and Foundations of Physics
Audience: Professional
Format: Hardcover
Language: English
Number Of Pages: 242
Published: 26th November 2007
Publisher: Elsevier Science & Technology
Country of Publication: GB
Dimensions (cm): 24.0 x 16.5  x 1.6
Weight (kg): 0.6
Edition Number: 3