Philosophy of Physics Graduate Lunch Seminar (Wednesday - Week 1, MT20)
In order to avoid symmetry-related underdetermination, many philosophers have opted for comparitivist or relationist theories. The fundamental quantities of those theories are relational; for example, mass ratios or spatial distances. However, there are certain structural facts about the instantiation of those quantities that the comparitivist seemingly cannot explain. Several examples of such `comparitivist conspiracies' are known; for example, distances famously obey the Triangle Inequality. I argue that these conspiracies are a general problem for a wide class of comparitivist theories, including Leibnizian relationism and mass comparativism. Meanwhile, absolutism does not face this issue, and so all else being equal we should prefer the latter.
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