Loop quantum ontology: spin-networks and spacetime

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Norton, Joshua
preprint description
The ontological issues at stake given the theory of loop quantum gravity (LQG) include the status of spacetime, the nature and reality of spin-networks, the relationship of classical spacetime to issues of causation and the status of the abstract-concrete distinction. I this paper I argue that, while spacetime seems to disappear, the spirit of substantival spacetime lives on under certain interpretations of the theory. Moreover, in order for there to be physical spin-networks, and not merely mathematical artifacts, I argue that we must interpret the theory as including a substantival background manifold. This latter result is important for any project which interprets spacetime as an emergent structure from physical spin-networks.