A Pre-History of Quantum Gravity: The Seventeenth Century Legacy and the Deep Metaphysics of Space beyond Substantivalism and Relationism

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Slowik, Edward
conference paper description
This essay demonstrates the inadequacy of contemporary substantivalist and relationist interpretations of quantum gravity hypotheses via an historical investigation of the debate on the underlying ontology of space in the seventeenth century. Viewed in the proper context, there are crucial similarities between seventeenth century theories of space and contemporary work on the ontological foundations of spacetime theories, and these similarities challenge the utility of the substantival/relational dichotomy by revealing a host of underlying conceptual issues that do not naturally align with that distinction.