Lorentzian theories vs. Einsteinian special relativity - a logico-empiricist reconstruction
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It is widely believed that the principal difference between Einstein's special relativity and its contemporary rival Lorentz-type theories was that while the Lorentz-type theories were also capable of “explaining away” the null result of the Michelson-Morley experiment and other experimental findings by means of the distortions of moving measuring-rods and moving clocks, special relativity revealed more fundamental new facts about the geometry of space-time behind these phenomena. I shall argue that special relativity tells us nothing new about the geometry of space-time, in comparison with the pre-relativistic Galileo-invariant conceptions; it simply calls something else "space-time", and this something else has different properties. All statements of special relativity about those features of reality that correspond to the original meaning of the terms "space" and "time" are identical with the corresponding traditional pre-relativistic statements. It will be also argued that special relativity and Lorentz theory are completely identical in both senses, as theories about space-time and as theories about the behavior of moving physical objects.