On Identifying Background-Structure in Classical Field Theories
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I examine a property of theories called ‘background-independence’ that Einsteinian gravitation is thought to exemplify. This concept has figured in the work of Rovelli (2001; 2004), Smolin (2006), Giulini (2007), and Belot (2011), among others. I propose and evaluate a few candidates for background-independence, and I show that there is something chimaerical about the concept. I argue, however, that there is a proposal that clarifies the feature of Einsteinian gravitation that motivates the concept.