# Substantivalism, Relationism, and Structural Spacetime Realism

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## Abstract

Debates about the ontological implications of the general theory of relativity have long oscillated between spacetime substantivalism and relationism. I evaluate such debates by claiming that we need a third option, which I refer to as “structural spacetime realism.” Such a tertium quid sides with the relationists in defending the relational nature of the spacetime structure, but joins the substantivalists in arguing that spacetime exists, at least in part, independently of particular physical objects and events, the degree of “independence” being given by the extent to which geometrical laws exist “over and above” physical events exemplifying them. By showing that structural spacetime realism is the natural outcome of a semantic, model-theoretic approach to the nature of scientific theories, I conclude by arguing that the notion of partial isomorphic representation is the most plausible candidate to connect spacetime models with reality.

## Keywords

General Theory Defend Physical Event Scientific Theory Physical Object## Preview

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