The Emergence of Space and Time

Authored by: Christian Wüthrich

The Routledge Handbook of Emergence

Print publication date:  March  2019
Online publication date:  March  2019

Print ISBN: 9781138925083
eBook ISBN: 9781315675213
Adobe ISBN:

10.4324/9781315675213-26

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Abstract

Research in quantum gravity strongly suggests that our world is not fundamentally spatiotemporal, but that spacetime may only emerge in some sense from a non-spatiotemporal structure, as this chapter illustrates in the case of causal set theory and loop quantum gravity. This would raise philosophical concerns regarding the empirical coherence and general adequacy of theories in quantum gravity. If it can be established, however, that spacetime emerges in the appropriate circumstances and how all its relevant aspects are explained in fundamental non-spatiotemporal terms, then the challenge is fully met. It is argued that a form of spacetime functionalism offers the most promising template for this project.

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