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The Reign of RelativityPhilosophy in Physics 1915-1925$
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Thomas Ryckman

Print publication date: 2005

Print ISBN-13: 9780195177176

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: April 2005

DOI: 10.1093/0195177177.001.0001

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Geometrizing Physics

Geometrizing Physics

Eddington's Theory of the Affine Field

Chapter:
(p.218) Geometrizing Physics
Source:
The Reign of Relativity
Author(s):

Thomas Ryckman

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/0195177177.003.0008

It is shown how Eddington’s 1921 generalization of Weyl’s theory of gravitation and electromagnetism stemmed from similar transcendental idealist epistemological concerns. While Eddington’s affine field theory served as a template for numerous attempts within Einstein’s own unified field theory program, Eddington’s understanding of a geometrized physics remained epistemological in origin and motivation, seeking to provide a graphical representation of the most general conditions of possible experience of a world constructed from the point of view of “no one in particular.” This represents Eddington’s belief that local symmetries have a particularly important constitutive role in fundamental physical theory.

Keywords:   Arthur Eddington, Weyl’s theory of gravitation and electromagnetism, affine field theory, Albert Einstein, unified field theory, geometrized physics, local symmetries, constitutive, fundamental physical theory

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