Substantivalism and Relationism in the 4 Dimensional Interpretation of Newtonian Space-Time

뉴턴 시공간의 4차원 해석에서의 실체론과 관계론 간의 논쟁

  • Received : 2017.03.20
  • Accepted : 2017.04.26
  • Published : 2017.04.30


The ontological status of Newtonian space-time has been debated under the name of substantivalism-relationism controversy. The debates between the two parties are concerned with the nature of existence of space-time. Substantivalism maintains that the points of space-time have existence analogous to material substance. Relationism claims that space-time should be understood as the framework of possible spatio-temporal relations between bodies. Newtonian space is considered as a three dimensional entity in accordance with our geometric common sense. Yet given that the concept of motion is defined as the change of position throughout time, it is possible to interpret space-time as a 4 dimensional entity. In this essay, substantivalist-relationist debate is considered within the context of non-relativistic 4 dimensional space-time theory. This essay attempts to clarify the dispute over the ontology of space-time by elucidating the relationship between the ontology of space-time, motion, and space-time symmetry.


Supported by : 한국연구재단


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