We argue that in current spacetime physics there can be no dynamical derivation of primitive geometrical notions such as length. We illustrate our argument by focusing on two case studies: the special theory of relativity and some approaches to quantum gravity, and we argue that in these cases, some geometrical notions are assumed rather than derived. Our argument suggests a new reading of Einstein's views on the status of geometry vs. dynamics.
|Number of pages||8|
|Journal||Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part B - Studies in History and Philosophy of Modern Physics|
|State||Published - Aug 2013|
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
We thank an anonymous referee and the editors of this volume for valuable comments. AH's research was supported by the NSF , Grant SES 0951179 . MH's research was supported by the Israel Science Foundation , grant 713/10 and the German–Israel Foundation , grant 1054-112.4/2009 .
- Special relativity
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Physics and Astronomy (all)
- History and Philosophy of Science