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Eleanor Knox (KCL): “Spacetime Functionalism and Non-Commutative Geometry”

22 May 2017, 5:15 pm6:45 pm

Abstract: Spacetime functionalism, the view that spacetime is as spacetime does, allows for an interesting interpretational perspective on both classical and quantum gravitational theories. In this paper, I’ll explore the consequences of a particular kind of spacetime functionalism for a particular variety of non-commutative gravitational theory. The spacetime functionalism I advocate analyses the spacetime concept as a functional one, and holds that whatever defines a structure of inertial frames in a theory just is spacetime. When applied to a kind of noncommutative gravity (one with a constant noncommutativity parameter), the approach yields particularly interesting results. This kind of theory privileges a set of inertial frames in a strong way, breaking diffeomorphism invariance to do so. On the functionalist approach, this means that it postulates a particularly interesting spacetime, and poses an interesting challenge to some widely accepted ideas in the foundations of spacetime theories.

Dr Eleanor Knox is a Lecturer in Philosophy at King’s College London.




22 May 2017
5:15 pm – 6:45 pm
Event Category:


Bryan W. Roberts


LAK 2.06
Lakatos Building
London, WC2A 2AE United Kingdom
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