2. Key Readings

2.1 General on Spacetime

Weatherall, Classical Spacetime Structure

2.2 Newton’s bucket argument

  • Mcdonough
  • Philosophy
  • Rynasiewicz, Robert, “Newton’s Views on Space, Time, and Motion”, The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy (Summer 2014 Edition), Edward N. Zalta (ed.), PDF of same: “In recent literature, Newton’s theses regarding the ontology of space and time have come to be called substantivalism in contrast to relationism…. He thought thew were real entities with their own manner of existence as necessitated by God’s existence…. Newton’s view that space is distinct from body and that time passes uniformly without regard to whether anything happens in the world….in opposition to this others held that the idea of empty space is a conceptual impossibility. Space is nothing but an abstraction we use to compare different arrangements of the bodies constituting the plenum. Concerning time, they insisted, there can be no lapse of time without change occurring somewhere. Time is merely a measure of cycles of change within the world…. Newton defined the true motion of a body to be its motion through absolute space….It is evident from these characterizations that, according to Newton: 1)space is something distinct from body and exists independently of the existence of bodies, 2) there is a fact of the matter whether a given body moves and what its true quantity of motion is, and 3) the true motion of a body does not consist of, or cannot be defined in terms of, its motion relative to other bodies….the rotating bucket experiment is the last of five arguments from the “properties, causes, and effects of motion” designed to show cumulatively that an adequate analysis of true motion must involve reference to absolute space. In contrast, the example of the revolving globes is intended to illustrate how it is that, despite the fact that absolute space is invisible to the senses, it is nonetheless possible to infer the quantity of absolute motion of individual bodies in various cases…. since the sphere of the fixed stars is embedded in no other celestial sphere in motion, the motion of the fixed stars is de facto the measure of all motion.