The Ontology of Spacetime II

Edited by

  • Dennis Dieks, Professor, Ph.D., M.Sc., Institute for History and Foundations of Science, Buys Ballot Laboratory, Utrecht, The Netherlands

The sixteen papers collected in this volume are expanded and revised versions of talks delivered at the Second International Conference on the Ontology of Spacetime, organized by the International Society for the Advanced Study of Spacetime (John Earman, President) at Concordia University (Montreal) from 9 to 11 June 2006. Most chapters are devoted to subjects directly relating to the ontology of spacetime. The book starts with four papers that discuss the ontological status of spacetime and the processes occurring in it from a point of view that is first of all conceptual and philosophical. The focus then slightly shifts in the five papers that follow, to considerations more directly involving technical considerations from relativity theory. After this, Time, Becoming and Change take centre stage in the next five papers. The book ends with two excursions into relatively uncharted territory: a consideration of the status of Kaluza-Klein theory, and an investigation of possible relations between the nature of spacetime and condensed matter physics, respectively.
View full description


Philosophers of physics, Physicists and Mathematicians interested in foundations and philosophy, Historians and Philosophers of science, Students and everyone interested in space and time from a modern perspective


Book information

  • Published: June 2008
  • Imprint: ELSEVIER
  • ISBN: 978-0-444-53275-6

Table of Contents

1. A Trope-Bundle Ontology for Field-Theory, A. Wayne2. Is Structural Realism Relationism in Disguise? The Supererogatory Nature of the Substantivalism/Relationism Debate, M. Dorato3. Identity, Spacetime and Cosmology, J. Faye4. Persistence and Multilocation in Spacetime, Yu. Balashov5. Is Spacetime a Gravitational Field?, D. Lehmkuhl6. Structural Aspects of the Singular Features of Space-Time, V. Lam7. Who’s Afraid of Background Independence?, D. Rickles8. Understanding Indeterminism, C. Brighouse9. Conventionality of Simultaneity and Reality, V. Petkov10. Pruning Some Branches from Branching Spacetimes, J. Earman11. Time Lapse and the Degeneracy of Time: Goedel, Proper Time and Becoming in Relativity Theory, R.T.W. Arthur12. On Temporal Becoming, Relativity, and Quantum Mechanics, T. Bigaj13. Relativity, the Passage of Time and the Cosmic Clock, P. Forrest14. Time and Relation in Relativity and Quantum Gravity, A. de Saint-Ours15. Mechanisms of Unification in Kaluza-Klein Theory, I. Muntean16. Condensed Matter Physics and the Nature of Spacetime, J. Bain