In order to avoid symmetry-related underdetermination, many philosophers have opted for comparativist theories.The fundamental quantities of such theories are comparative: for example, mass ratios or spatial distances. However, there are certain structural facts about the instantiation of those quantities which the comparativist cannot explain. Several examples of such `comparativist 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 comparativist theories, including Leibnizian relationism and mass comparativism. On the other hand, absolutism does not face this issue, and so all else being equal we should prefer the latter.
All of those wishing to attend should email Adam Caulton in order to register attendance.
Philosophy of Physics Seminar Convenor for TT21: Adam Caulton | Philosophy of Physics Group Website