Primitive Motion Relationalism

  • Ori BelkindEmail author
Part of the Boston Studies in the Philosophy of Science book series (BSPS, volume 264)


Chapter 1 offered a reading of the law of momentum conservation, which takes it to consist of structural assumptions about physical systems. Structural assumptions include a Criterion of Isolation and a Rule of Composition. One benefit of thinking of conservation laws as structural assumptions is that it makes clear the epistemic role of conservation laws. The Criterion of Isolation appears to be central to the scientific practice, since in order to attribute certain properties to parts of a system, physicists need a criterion for isolating the composite system from the environment. If a system is not approximately isolated, one cannot investigate the system, either theoretically or experimentally. Without a criterion for isolating the system, it is not possible to discern the causal processes that flow from one part of the system to another, and dissociate them from causal processes that arises from external factors.


Congruence Relation Spacetime Point Temporal Metrics Uniform Motion Parallel Motion 
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© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of PhilosophyUniversity of RichmondRichmondUSA

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