The Metaphysics of Super-Substantivalism

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Lehmkuhl, Dennis
preprint description
Recent decades have seen a revived interest in super-substantivalism, the idea that spacetime is the only fundamental substance and matter some kind of aspect, property or consequence of spacetime structure. However, the metaphysical debate so far has misidentified a particular variant of super-substantivalism with the position per se. I distinguish between a super-substantival core commitment and different ways of fleshing it out. In particular, I distinguish between two categories of super-substantival positions: modest and radical super-substantivalism. I argue that only the latter engages with physics in an interesting way and offers metaphysics the possibility to motivate new research programmes in physics, rather than defending positions that can be maintained no matter what physics tells us about the nature of spacetime.