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Reconsidering Conventionalism: An Invitation to a Sophisticated Philosophy for Modern (Space-)Times

Dürr, Patrick and Read, James (2023) Reconsidering Conventionalism: An Invitation to a Sophisticated Philosophy for Modern (Space-)Times. [Preprint]

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Abstract

Geometric underdetermination (i.e., the underdetermination of the geometric properties of space and time) is a live possibility in light of some of our best theories of physics. In response to this, geometric conventionalism offers a selective anti-realism, refusing to assign truth values to variant geometric propositions. Although often regarded as being dead in the water by modern philosophers, in this article we propose to revitalise the programme of geometric conventionalism both on its own terms, and as an attractive response to the above-mentioned live cases of geometric underdetermination. Specifically, we (1) articulate geometrical conventionalism as we conceive it, (2) anticipate various objections to the view, and defend it against those objections, and (3) demonstrate how geometric conventionalism plays out in the context of a wide variety of spacetime theories, both classical and relativistic.


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Item Type: Preprint
Creators:
CreatorsEmailORCID
Dürr, Patrickpatrick-duerr@gmx.de
Read, Jamesjames.read@philosophy.ox.ac.uk
Keywords: Conventionalism, underdetermination, spacetime theories
Subjects: Specific Sciences > Physics > Classical Physics
General Issues > Conventionalism
Specific Sciences > Physics > Relativity Theory
Depositing User: Dr. James Read
Date Deposited: 01 Jun 2023 11:58
Last Modified: 01 Jun 2023 11:58
Item ID: 22172
Subjects: Specific Sciences > Physics > Classical Physics
General Issues > Conventionalism
Specific Sciences > Physics > Relativity Theory
Date: 31 May 2023
URI: https://philsci-archive-dev.library.pitt.edu/id/eprint/22172

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