REFLECTIONS ON SPACETIME - FOUNDATIONS, PHILOSOPHY AND HISTORY During the academic year 1992/93, an interdisciplinary research group constituted itself at the Zentrum fUr interdisziplinare Forschung (ZiF) in Bielefeld, Germany, under the title 'Semantical Aspects of Spacetime Theories', in which philosophers and physicists worked on topics in the interpretation and history of relativity theory. The present issue consists of contributions resulting from material presented and discussed in the group during the course of that year. The scope of the papers ranges from rather specialised issues arising from general relativity such as the problem of referential indeterminacy, to foundational questions regarding spacetime in the work of Carnap, Weyl and Hilbert. It is well known that the General Theory of Relativity (GTR) admits spacetime models which are 'exotic' in the sense that observers could travel into their own past. This poses a number of problems for the physical interpretation of GTR which are also relevant in the philosophy of spacetime. It is not enough to exclude these exotic models simply by stating that we live in a non-exotic universe, because it might be possible to "operate time machines" by actively changing the topology of the future part of spacetime. In his contribution, Earman first reviews the attempts of physicists to prove "chronology protection theorems" (CPTs) which exclude the operation of time machines under reasonable assumptions.
|Edition description:||Softcover reprint of hardcover 1st ed. 1995|
|Product dimensions:||6.10(w) x 9.25(h) x 0.01(d)|
Table of ContentsEditorial 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.