I examine two claims that arise in Brown’s () account of inertial motion. Brown claims there is something objectionable about the way in which the motions of free particles in Newtonian theory and special relativity are coordinated. Brown also claims that since a geodesic principle can be derived in Einsteinian gravitation, the objectionable feature is explained away. I argue that there is nothing objectionable about inertia and that while the theorems that motivate Brown’s second claim can be said to figure in a deductive–nomological explanation, their main contribution lies in their explication rather than their explanation of inertial motion.1 Introduction2 The Alleged Conspiracy3 The Conspirators Unmasked 3.1 The action–reaction principle 3.2 Global coordinate systems as an artifice of thought 3.3 Inertia as a concept in need of explanation4 If Inertia Is Conspiratorial, Should a Broad Class of Theories Be So Characterized?5 The Alleged Explanation of Inertia by Einsteinian Gravitation6 Conclusion
The British Journal for the Philosophy of Science – Oxford University Press
Published: Dec 1, 2018
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