Spacetime is as spacetime does

Publication Year:
2018
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Repository URL:
http://philsci-archive.pitt.edu/id/eprint/14640
Author(s):
Lam, Vincent; Wuthrich, Christian
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preprint description
Theories of quantum gravity generically presuppose or predict that the reality underlying relativistic spacetimes they are describing is significantly non-spatiotemporal. On pain of empirical incoherence, approaches to quantum gravity must establish how relativistic spacetime emerges from their non-spatiotemporal structures. We argue that in order to secure this emergence, it is sufficient to establish that only those features of relativistic spacetimes functionally relevant in producing empirical evidence must be recovered. In order to complete this task, an account must be given of how the more fundamental structures instantiate these functional roles. We illustrate the general idea in the context of causal set theory and loop quantum gravity, two prominent approaches to quantum gravity.