Volume 34, 1998
Philosophy of Mathematics
Mathematical Models of Spacetime in Contemporary Physics and Essential Issues of the Ontology of Spacetime
The general theory of relativity and field theory of matter generate an interesting ontology of space-time and, generally, of nature. It is a monistic, anti-atomistic and geometrized ontology — in which the substance is the metric field — to which all physical events are reducible. Such ontology refers to the Cartesian definition of corporeality and to Plato's ontology of nature presented in the Timaeus. This ontology provides a solution to the dispute between Clark and Leibniz on the issue of the ontological independence of space-time from distribution of events. However, mathematical models of space-time in physics do not solve the problem of the difference between time and space dimensions (invariance of equations with regard to the inversion of time arrow). Recent research on space-time singularities and asymmetrical in time quantum theory of gravitation will perhaps allow for the solution of this problem based on the structure of space-time and not merely on thermodynamics.