A New Approach to the Relational-Substantival Debate

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North, Jill
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preprint description
We should see the debate over the existence of spacetime as a debate about the fundamentality of spatiotemporal structure to the physical world. This is a non-traditional conception of the debate, which captures the spirit of the traditional one. At the same time, it clarifies the point of contention between opposing views and offsets worries that the dispute is stagnant or non-substantive. It also unearths a novel argument for substantivalism, given current physics. Even so, that conclusion can be overridden by future physics. I conclude that this debate is a substantive one, which the substantivalist is currently winning.