Tuesday, 4 November 2008
The Relativity of Inertia and the Reality of Nothing
Alexander Afriat, University of Urbino
12:05 pm, 817R Cathedral of Learning
We first see that the inertia of Newtonian mechanics is absolute and troublesome. General relativity can be viewed as Einstein's attempt to remedy, by making inertia relative, to matter---perhaps imperfectly though, as at least a couple of degrees of freedom separate inertia from matter in his theory. We consider ways the relationist (for whom it is of course unwelcome) can try to overcome such underdetermination, dismissing it as physically meaningless, especially by insisting on the right transformation properties.