Distant Simultaneity and the Bilateral Symmetry of a Rotating Object: An Epistemic Alternative to Newton's Water Bucket Experiment as the Cornerstone in Philosophy of Space and Time, Part 2

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Scientific Paper
Title Distant Simultaneity and the Bilateral Symmetry of a Rotating Object: An Epistemic Alternative to Newton\'s Water Bucket Experiment as the Cornerstone in Philosophy of Space and Time, Part 2
Author(s) Thomas Geoffrey Franzel
Keywords conventionalism, standard signal synchrony, relativity of simultaneity, Arzeli?, s' clocks, mind-dependent, problem of identity, kinematics, dynamics, field and background reversal
Published 1988
Journal Physics Essays
Volume 1
Number 4
Pages 213-243

Abstract

This is the second half of an essay which began in the last issue of Physics Essays.  In the first half, a different topic was surveyed in each of the three sections: the conventionality of simultaneity, two paradigms of clocks and time, and how "relationalism" has been the subject of longstanding philosphical interest and disagreement.

 Now, in the first section of Part 2, the focus shifts to rotational symmetry and its connection to distant simultaneity.  A number of of fundamental results are derived from an argument that is partly physical and partly philosphical.  This deeply rooted critique of current theory leads to a qualitative description of an alternate research program with close ties to historical efforts.  An outline of the program gradually develops in the the final two sections.  Supporting details are mixed with, and arise from, various additional arguments for the original thesis.

  The main theme of the second section is an examination of the philosophical difficulties in the "local-distant" dichotomy.  Other issues are gradually intertwined and developed.

 Section 3 is a concluding survey and summary which brings together historical and contemporary issues and maintains that the difficulties in both may spring from a common cause: the problem in the theoretical foundation disclosed by the rotational symmetry argument.    (Physics Essays: 1, no. 4, pp. 213-243)