Jeremy Butterfield: On Reductionism and Functionalism about Space and Time

Jeremy Butterfield (Cambridge)
4:30-6:30pm Monday Sept 9; CUNY Graduate Center (365 5th Ave, NYC), room 5307.

Title: On Reductionism and Functionalism about Space and Time.

Abstract: Various programmes and results in the philosophy/foundations of spacetime theories illustrate themes from reductionism and functionalism in general philosophy of science. I will focus on some programmes and results about how the physics of matter contributes to determining, or even determines, or even explains, chrono-geometry. I hope to say something about most of the following examples: in the philosophical literature, Robb (1914), and Mundy (1983); and in the physics literature: Barbour and Bertotti (1982); Hojman, Kuchar and Teitelboim (1976); Dull, Schuller et al. (2012, 2018); and Gomes & Shyam (2016).

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