Challenging the Spacetime Structuralist
Published online by Cambridge University Press: 01 January 2022
Structural realist interpretations of generally relativistic spacetimes have recently come to enjoy a remarkable degree of popularity among philosophers. I present a challenge to these structuralist interpretations that arises from considering cosmological models in general relativity. As a consequence of their high degree of spacetime symmetry, these models resist a structuralist interpretation. I then evaluate the various strategies available to the structuralist to react to this challenge.
- Research Article
- Copyright © The Philosophy of Science Association
First and foremost, I wish to thank John Earman for proposing the topic to me and for his many suggestions that have invariably led to improvements of the article. I am also indebted to Craig Callender, Jonathan Cohen, Vincent Lam, and Ioan Muntean for comments and discussions. Thanks go to audiences at Lausanne, Geneva, and the Philosophy of Science Association (PSA) meeting. Interestingly, at the PSA, there was an advocate for each of the exit strategies I propose in the audience, as became clear during the discussion period. Finally, I wish to thank my fellow collaborators in the Swiss National Science Foundation project “Properties and Relations” for stimulating intellectual exchange with them. This research has been funded in part by the Swiss National Science Foundation project “Properties and Relations” (100011–113688).