This book presents a collection of research papers, written by physicists, philosophers and historians of science who had participated in the Zentrum für interdisziplinäre Forschung (ZiF) during the academic year 1992/93 in order to discuss the nature and structure of spacetime as it is used in general relativity. All contributions focus on unsolved questions, such as the possibility of time machines, referential indeterminacy, the hole problem, and the conventional vs. empirical character of spacetime. These papers having a more historical colour deal with Einstein's view of general covariance and with the epistemological status of space(time) in the works of Carnap, Weyl and Hilbert, all of whom relate their position to Husserl's phenomenology, yet in fundamentally different ways.
Philosophers and physicists ponder some of the problems and implications of the General Theory of Relativity, ranging from specialized issues to foundational questions. Chronological protection theorems to outlaw time machines, a new semantics for the epistemology of geometry, science without reference, general covariance, Carnap and Weyl, and geometry from Kant to Husserl are among their topics. No index in this dimension. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
Editorial preface: reflections on spacetime - foundations, philosophy and history. Outlawing time machines: chronology protection theorems; J. Earman. A new semantics for the epistemology of geometry. I: Modeling spacetime structure; R.A. Coleman, H. Korté. A new semantics for the epistemology of geometry. II: Epistemological completeness of Newton-Galilei and Einstein-Maxwell theory; R.A. Coleman, H. Korté. A minimal interpretation of general relativistic spacetime geometry; H.-J. Schmidt. Science without reference? F. Mühlhölzer. Did Einstein stumble? The debate over general covariance; J.D. Norton. Carnap and Weyl on the foundations of geometry and relativity theory; M. Friedman. Geometry, intuition and experience: from Kant to Husserl; U. Majer.