- Martens, N.C.M. (2017), “Regularity Comparativism about Mass in Newtonian Gravity” (Journal Website / PhilSci Archive), forthcoming in Philosophy of Science 84(5)
Comparativism—the view that mass ratios are not grounded in absolute masses—faces a challenge by Baker which suggests that absolute masses are empirically meaningful. Regularity comparativism uses a liberalised version of the Mill-Ramsey-Lewis Best Systems Account to have both the Laws of Newtonian Gravity and the absolute mass scale supervene on a comparativist Humean mosaic as a package deal. I discuss three objections to this view, and conclude that it is untenable. The most severe problem is that once we have reduced away the absolute masses, there is nothing that stops us from also reducing the mass ratios.
- Martens, N.C.M. (2012), “Parity violation and the reality of space”, In: Proceedings of the Student Research Conference, Utrecht, the Netherlands, 21 November 2012, p.221-224.
- Martens, N.C.M. (2016), “Against Reducing Newtonian Mass to Kinematical Quantities”, presented at Foundations2016
Laplace wondered about the minimal choice of initial variables and parameters corresponding to a well-posed initial value problem. Discussions of Laplace’s problem in the literature have focused on choosing between spatiotemporal variables relative to absolute space (i.e. substantivalism) or merely relative to other material bodies (i.e. relationalism) and between absolute masses (i.e. absolutism) or merely mass ratios (i.e. comparativism). This paper extends these discussions of Laplace’s problem, in the context of Newtonian Gravity, by asking whether mass needs to be included in the initial state at all, or whether a purely spatiotemporal initial state suces. It is argued that mass indeed needs to be included; removing mass from the initial state drastically reduces the predictive and explanatory power of Newtonian Gravity.
- Against Comparativism about Mass in Newtonian Gravity — a Case Study in the Metaphysics of Scale
- Galactic Sources of Ultrahigh-energy Cosmic Rays
- Parity Violation and the Reality of Space
- BA Thesis in Philosophy of Space
- Grade: 85%
- Groningen University
- Supervisor: Prof. Jan-Willem Romeijn
- Upper Limit for the Deuteron Electric Dipole Moment from Deuterium Spectroscopy