Philosophy of Physics Graduate Lunch Seminar (Monday - Week 5, TT22)

philosophy of physics grad lunch seminar

Many principles have figured importantly in the history of the general theory of relativity. These include Mach’s principle, various principles of equivalence, of (general) relativity, of general covariance (and sometimes invariance), and background independence. Some of these bear upon general relativity’s relationship with Newtonian and special relativistic theories. I will evaluate a selection of these principles along the lines of the following four types of views. First, they could constrain which relativistic spacetimes one should admit from the broad class introduced in the first section. Second, they could provide a means to "deduce" such an admissible class from other auxiliary assumptions. Third, they could merely summarize important features of (perhaps only some) relativistic spacetimes. Fourth, they could provide a heuristic role, sometimes historically, in the development of general relativity or extensions thereof from the perspective of its predecessors.

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Philosophy of Physics Graduate Lunch Seminar Convenor: Daniel Grimmer