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Home The Technically Manifolded (Classical and Quantum) Space Ontology

The Technically Manifolded (Classical and Quantum) Space Ontology

Edward Slowik, The Deep Metaphysics of Space (Cham: Springer International Publishing, 2016), ISBN 978-3-319-44867-1, ISBN 978-3-319-44868-8 (online), 356 pp.

Adrian MANEA


What is generally called ―the problem of space‖ throughout the history and philosophy of physics is chiefly one which takes the main stage in the writings of scientists, mathematicians, historians and philosophers alike. This centrality is mostly due to the fact that it accommodates many questions and results, coming from multiple areas of human thought. In this framework, the book The Deep Metaphysics of Space tackles the core of the intricacy, namely the ontological status of space. Although it may seem that Edward Slowik focuses on the debate between substantivalism and relationism of Newton and Leibniz, respectively, in fact, it delves into many more ramifications of the problem of space. As such, aside from revealing that the mere rigid framing of Newton as a substantivalist and of Leibniz as a relationist can be flawed, Slowik relates their approaches to the completely new setup of General Relativity. This twentieth-century breakthrough proves a hard nut to crack on its own. The difficulty is both due to the fact that it can be consistently traced back to Newton and Leibniz (equally in a philosophical and a mathematical-physical case), but also since it brings to the table entirely new entities, such as multidimensional manifolds and (affine) connections.

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