Philosophy of Physics Seminar (Thursday - Week 5, MT20)

Philosophy of Physics


The consensus among spacetime substantivalists is to respond to Leibniz's classic shift arguments, and their contemporary incarnation in the form of the hole argument, by pruning the allegedly problematic surplus metaphysical possibilities. Some substantivalists do so by directly appealing to a modal doctrine akin to anti-haecceitism; others do so by appealing to an underlying hyperintensional doctrine that implies some such modal doctrine. My first aim in this talk is to undermine all extant forms of this consensus position. My second aim is to show what form substantivalism must take in order to uphold the consensus while addressing my challenge from part one. In so doing, I'll discuss some related issues about the interaction of modality and vagueness. I'll then argue against the resulting substantivalist metaphysic on independent grounds. I'll conclude by discussing the way forward for substantivalists once we reject the consensus position.


The Seminar is going to be held via Microsoft teams. Please email James Read if you would like to attend.

Philosophy of Physics Seminar Convenors for MT20: James Reid