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Geometric Possibility [Hardcover]

Gordon Belot

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Price: $53.16 & FREE Shipping. Details
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Book Description

June 25, 2011 0199595321 978-0199595327 1
Relationalism about space is a venerable doctrine that is enjoying renewed attention among philosophers and physicists. Relationalists deny that space is ontologically prior to matter and seek to ground all claims about the structure of space in facts about actual and possible configurations of matter. Thus, many relationalists maintain that to say that space is infinite is to say that certain sorts of infinite arrays of material points are possible (even if, in fact, the world contains only a finite amount of matter).

Gordon Belot investigates the distinctive notion of geometric possibility that relationalists rely upon. He examines the prospects for adapting to the geometric case the standard philosophical accounts of the related notion of physical possibility, with particular emphasis on Humean, primitivist, and necessitarian accounts of physical and geometric possibility. This contribution to the debate concerning the nature of space will be of interest not only to philosophers and metaphysicians concerned with space and time, but also to those interested in laws of nature, modal notions, or more general issues in ontology.

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Editorial Reviews

Review

Belot explores a central metaphysical question concerning the ontology of space. Much has been written about the substantivalist / relationalist controversy; Belot's book provides a new take on it... Quite apart from its appeal as a book that contains some wonderful and witty philosophical analysis, it is readable just for its lovely exposition of examples from geometry. It has something for almost everyone and ought to be a staple for philosophers interested in philosophy of space and time, metaphysics, philosophy of physics, or geometry. Carolyn Brighouse, Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews It offers a well-motivated contribution to a philosophical debate of great historical significance. Karim Thebault, Philosophy in Review

About the Author


Gordon Belot is Professor of Philosophy at the University of Michigan, having previously taught at Princeton University, New York University, and the University of Pittsburgh. He is the author of a number of articles concerning the philosophy of space and time and other topics in philosophy of physics.

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