PSA 1972 pp 31-54 | Cite as

The Rise and Fall of Geometrodynamics

  • John Stachel
Part of the Boston Studies in the Philosophy of Science book series (BSPS, volume 20)


One thing that everyone can agree on is that the subject of geometrodynamics, whatever we interpret it as covering, is inseparably associated with the name of John Wheeler. To discuss the history and current status of geometrodynamics thus necessitates the discussion of the evolution of Wheeler’s ideas on the subject. This is not meant to detract, in any way, from the fact that he has been ably assisted in his intellectual Odyssey by a distinguished group of co-workers; most prominently by Charles Misner, whom we have been fortunate to hear today on the subject. Since Professor Wheeler has recently indicated his abandonment of major features of the original geometrodynamic program, as I shall discuss later, I hope he will forgive me the rather dramatic title I have chosen for my talk.


Wave Function Quantum Theory Field Equation Gravitational Field Spacelike Hypersurface 
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  1. 1b.
    A. Einstein, ‘Autobiographical Notes’, in P. A. Schilpp (ed.), Albert Einstein: Philosopher-Scientist, Open Court Publishing Co., LaSalle, III., 1970, pp. 71–73.Google Scholar
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    A. Einstein, ‘Remarks to the Essays Appearing in This Collective Volume’, Ibid.>, p. 675.Google Scholar
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    An excellent recent reference for such problems is, Hawking and Ellis, The Large Scale Structure of Space-Time, Cambridge, 1973.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
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    This has been reprinted, with a number of other fundamental papers on the subject in B. DeWitt and N. Graham (eds.), The Many Worlds Interpretation of Quantum Mechanics, Princeton University Press, Princeton, 1973.Google Scholar
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    J. Stachel, ‘A Note on Scientific Practice’, to appear in For Dirk Struik (Boston Studies in the Philosophy of Science, Volume XV, 1974).Google Scholar

Copyright information

© D. Reidel Publishing Company, Dordrecht-Holland 1974

Authors and Affiliations

  • John Stachel
    • 1
  1. 1.Boston UniversityUSA

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