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Cartography of the space of theories: an interpretational chart for fields that are both (dark) matter and spacetime

Martens, Niels C.M. and Lehmkuhl, Dennis (2020) Cartography of the space of theories: an interpretational chart for fields that are both (dark) matter and spacetime. Studies in History and Philosophy of Modern Physics. ISSN 1355-2198

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Abstract

This paper pushes back against the Democritean-Newtonian tradition of assuming a strict conceptual dichotomy between spacetime and matter. Our approach proceeds via the more narrow distinction between modified gravity/spacetime (MG) and dark matter (DM). A prequel paper argued that the novel field Φ postulated by Berezhiani and Khoury's 'superfluid dark matter theory' is as much (dark) matter as anything could possibly be, but also below the critical temperature for superfluidity as much (of a modification of) spacetime as anything could possibly be. Here we introduce and critically evaluate three groups of interpretations that one should consider for such Janus-faced theories. The consubstantiality interpretation holds that Φ is both (dark) matter and a modification of spacetime, analogously to the sense in which Jesus (according to catholicism) is both human and god. The fundamendalist interpretations consider for each of these roles whether they are instantiated fundamentally or emergently. The breakdown interpretations focus on the question of whether Φ signals the breakdown, in some sense to be specified, of the MG-DM dichotomy and perhaps even the broader spacetime–matter distinction. More generally, it is argued that hybrid theories urge a move towards a single space of theories, rather than two separate spaces of spacetime theories and matter theories, respectively.


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Item Type: Published Article or Volume
Creators:
CreatorsEmailORCID
Martens, Niels C.M.martensniels@gmail.com0000-0002-2839-1387
Lehmkuhl, Dennisdennis.lehmkuhl@uni-bonn.de
Additional Information: The published version of this article will soon appear (open access) at: www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S1355219820301106
Keywords: dark matter, modified gravity, superfluid dark matter theory, spacetime–matter distinction, space of theories
Subjects: General Issues > Scientific Metaphysics
Specific Sciences > Physics > Astrophysics
Specific Sciences > Physics > Condensed Matter
Specific Sciences > Physics > Cosmology
Specific Sciences > Physics > Fields and Particles
Specific Sciences > Physics
Specific Sciences > Physics > Quantum Field Theory
Specific Sciences > Physics > Relativity Theory
Depositing User: Dr Niels C.M. Martens
Date Deposited: 11 Sep 2020 14:15
Last Modified: 11 Sep 2020 14:15
Item ID: 18068
Journal or Publication Title: Studies in History and Philosophy of Modern Physics
Publisher: Elsevier
Official URL: https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/...
Subjects: General Issues > Scientific Metaphysics
Specific Sciences > Physics > Astrophysics
Specific Sciences > Physics > Condensed Matter
Specific Sciences > Physics > Cosmology
Specific Sciences > Physics > Fields and Particles
Specific Sciences > Physics
Specific Sciences > Physics > Quantum Field Theory
Specific Sciences > Physics > Relativity Theory
Date: 2020
ISSN: 1355-2198
URI: https://philsci-archive-dev.library.pitt.edu/id/eprint/18068

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