Newtonian Gravitational Theory and General Relativity in the Light of the Correspondence between their Mathematical Models

  • T. Grabińska
  • M. Zabierowski
Part of the Archives Internationales D’Histoire des Idées / International Archives of the History of Ideas book series (ARCH, volume 123)


The correspondence relation between two physical theories T’ and T reflects their mutual kinship. It enters into consideration whenever the new theory T’ is formulated and its formal and substantial ties with the previous one T are studied. In the present paper it is assumed that two theories T’ and T satisfy the correspondence relation1 if:
  1. 1.

    The new theory [T’] is empirically consistent with the older theory [T] in their common range of application to the description of physical reality. This requirement is often called the cumulativity of knowledge.

  2. 2.

    Both theories can be formulated in uniform language and it is possible to proceed from T’ to T by the reduction of the denotation of the respective linguistic expressions. This requirement is often called the formal correspondence postulate.



Gravitational Field Gravitational Theory Affine Space Newtonian Theory Common Range 
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  1. The references to such a formulation are quoted in T. Grabińska and M. Zabierowski, “O relacji korespondencji między teoriami Einsteina i Newtona,” [in Polish], Z Zagadnien Filozofii Przyrodoznawstwa i Filozofii Przyrody, VI, (1984), 145–153.Google Scholar
  2. The correspondence relation between SR and GT is discussed e.g. in E. Zahar, “Why did Einstein’s programme supersede Lorentz’s?,” in: (“lMethod and Appraisal in the Physical Sciences,” ed. C. Howson, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, 1976, pp. 257–259;Google Scholar
  3. M. Czarnocka and J.M. Zytkow, “O redukcji mechaniki klasycznej do relatywistycznej,” [in Polish], Studia Filozoficzne 8–9, [1978], 185–196.Google Scholar
  4. W. Pauli, “Theory of Relativity,” Pergamon Press, London, 1958, Ch.4.Google Scholar
  5. A. Trautman, “Comparison of Newtonian and Relativistic Theories of Spacetime,” in: “Perspectives in Geometry and Relativity,” ed. B. Hoffman, Indiana University Press, 1966.Google Scholar
  6. S. Amsterdamski, “Między doświadczeniem a metafizyką,” [in Polish], Warszawa, 1973, pp. 208–209; R. Suszko, 1968, “Formal Logic and the Development of Knowledge,” Problems in the Philosophy of Science, 3, [1968], pp. 210–222, pp. 227–230.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 1988

Authors and Affiliations

  • T. Grabińska
    • 1
  • M. Zabierowski
    • 1
  1. 1.Wroclaw Technical UniversityPoland

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