Tuesday, 27 November 2007
Gordon Belot, University of Pittsburgh (Philosophy)
12:05 pm, 817R Cathedral of Learning
Abstract: My topic will be relationalist approaches to understanding the nature of physical space. Relationalists deny that space should be thought of as made up of parts that exist as material bodies exist. In the case where only finitely many material bodies exist familiar challenges arise---how can relationalists ground claims about the structure of space or even about distance relations between material bodies? It is often thought that in order to meet these challenges, relationalists must introduce a notion of geometric possibility. I consider two strategies for doing so, one analogous to Humean approaches to nomological possibility, the other analogous to primitivist approaches to nomological possibility.