Leibniz Equivalence. On Leibniz's (Bad) Influence on the Logical Empiricist Interpretation of General Relativity

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Giovanelli, Marco
preprint description
Einstein’s “point-coincidence argument'” as a response to the “hole argument” is usually considered as an expression of “Leibniz equivalence,” a restatement of indiscernibility in the sense of Leibniz. Through a historical-critical analysis of Logical Empiricists' interpretation of General Relativity, the paper attempts to show that this labeling is misleading. Logical Empiricists tried explicitly to understand the point-coincidence argument as an indiscernibility argument of the Leibnizian kind, such as those formulated in the 19th century debate about geometry, by authors such as Poincaré, Helmholtz or Hausdorff. However, they clearly failed to give a plausible account of General Relativity. Thus the point-coincidence/hole argument cannot be interpreted as Leibnizian indiscernibility argument, but must be considered as an indiscernibility argument of a new kind. Weyl's analysis of Leibniz's and Einstein's indiscernibility arguments is used to support this claim.