Philosophy Dictionary of Arguments

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Substantivalism, philosophy: substantivalism is an expression for the thesis that space is given independently of objects or matter and is not formed by the objects and their relations to each other. The assumption of an empty space is coherent from this point of view. The antonym to substantivalism is relationism, which assumes that space is formed by the objects and their relations to each other. See also space, space time, relationism.

Annotation: The above characterizations of concepts are neither definitions nor exhausting presentations of problems related to them. Instead, they are intended to give a short introduction to the contributions below. – Lexicon of Arguments.

Author Item Summary Meta data
I 13
Definition substantivalism/Field: asserts that literal speech about space can be taken at face value, even without physical objects. Then it is also useful to say that the space is empty.
I 14
FieldVsSubstantivalism: is forced to answer a relationist in his own terms.
I 47
Substantivalism/Field: (the thesis that there are empty spacetime regions). - Space time regions are known as causally active: e.g. field theories such as classical electromagnetism or the general relativity theory or quantum field theory. - Resnik: not "What properties of the spacetime points ..?" - But "What is the structure of space-time?" FieldVsResnik: that's wrong. The theory of the electromagnetic field is also that of the properties of the parts of the space time that are not occupied by objects.
I 171
Definition Substantivalism/Field: Thesis: empty space exists. - Definition Relationism: Thesis: there is no empty space. - Part-relation: exists in both.
I 181
Substantivalism/Field: favors the field theory.
I 184
Substantivalism/Newton pro: E.g. bucket experiment: shows that we need the concept of absolute acceleration and the one of the equality of place over time - (space that exists through time).
III 34f
Field pro substantivalism: there is empty space time. - Spacetimepoints are entities in their own right. - Field: that is compatible with the nominalism. - VsRelationism: this cannot accept Hilbert's axioms. VsRelationism: cannot accept physical fields. - Platonism: assumes at fields spacetime points with properties. - VsRelationism: this one cannot do it.

Explanation of symbols: Roman numerals indicate the source, arabic numerals indicate the page number. The corresponding books are indicated on the right hand side. ((s)…): Comment by the sender of the contribution.
The note [Author1]Vs[Author2] or [Author]Vs[term] is an addition from the Dictionary of Arguments. If a German edition is specified, the page numbers refer to this edition.

Field I
H. Field
Realism, Mathematics and Modality Oxford New York 1989

Field II
H. Field
Truth and the Absence of Fact Oxford New York 2001

Field III
H. Field
Science without numbers Princeton New Jersey 1980

Field IV
Hartry Field
"Realism and Relativism", The Journal of Philosophy, 76 (1982), pp. 553-67
Theories of Truth, Paul Horwich, Aldershot 1994

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Ed. Martin Schulz, access date 2020-06-04
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