On 7/24/2011 12:05 AM, Jesse Mazer wrote:



On Sat, Jul 23, 2011 at 11:24 PM, Stephen P. King <stephe...@charter.net <mailto:stephe...@charter.net>> wrote:

    On 7/23/2011 9:45 PM, Jason Resch wrote:
    If you want to formulate block time without reifying spacetime,
    then just consider block time a collection of events separated by
    certain distances and directions from eachother.  You may be
    right that ultimately this is all related to a theory of
    observation, and I think I can understand what you mean by
    relativity explaining the organization of these
    events/observations.  In any case, a block universe seems to be a
    simpler theory than that of one in which objects become real and
    become unreal continuously, and it is consistent with
    observations.  There is no scientific justification for
    presentism that I am aware of.

    Jason
    Hi Jason,

        But can't you see that I am arguing against any form of
    spacetime substantivalism, this includes block spacetime, block
    time, presentism
    (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Presentism_%28philosophy_of_time%29), 
eternalism
    (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eternalism_%28philosophy_of_time%29), etc.
    The idea that events exist with specific properties attached
    independent of specification of measurement - of which observation
    by humans is a special case - is what I am arguing against. See:
    http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/spacetime-holearg/ for the full
    details. Substantivalism just a hold over of Aether theories.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aether_theories and I argue that it
    is an unnecessary hypothesis.
        One specific observation that for me nails substantivalism is
    the observation of no delay or polarization difference between
    ultra high gamma photons and gamma photons of lower energies from
    the same gamma ray buster event. Spacetime is show to be smooth at
    all energy scales, this is contra all theories that treat
    spacetime as some kind of substance.


Substantivalism doesn't treat spacetime as a "substance" in the sense of necessarily being made up of discrete grainy bits (which is all that the gamma ray prediction was meant to test, see http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/06/110630111540.htm ), it just says that spacetime has physical properties of its own, like the notion of the different curvature at different points in spacetime which is present in general relativity. See also the discussion of "sophisticated substantivalism" on p. 9 of http://www.st-andrews.ac.uk/~kjh5/OnlinePapers/MetaphysicsandRelativity.pdf <http://www.st-andrews.ac.uk/%7Ekjh5/OnlinePapers/MetaphysicsandRelativity.pdf> and also at http://users.ox.ac.uk/~ball0402/papers/sheffield.pdf <http://users.ox.ac.uk/%7Eball0402/papers/sheffield.pdf> (the author also apparently wrote a thesis about this and is in the process of writing a book, see the bottom of the page at http://users.ox.ac.uk/~ball0402/research/ <http://users.ox.ac.uk/%7Eball0402/research/> )

--
Hi Jesse,

OK, I will read those references, but does not "being made up of discrete grainy pieces" seem substance-like enough to cause me to come to that conclusion, maybe mistakenly? I seem to be picking up Leibniz's side of the Leibniz v. Newton debate on the nature of space and time...

Onward!

Stephen


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