Eddington's Theory of the Affine Field
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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