Scientific article
Open access

Spacetime emergence in quantum gravity: Functionalism and the hard problem

ContributorsLe Bihan, Baptisteorcid
Published inSynthese, vol. 199, p. 371-393
Publication date2021

Spacetime functionalism is the view that spacetime is a functional structure implemented by a more fundamental ontology. Lam and Wüthrich have recently argued that spacetime functionalism helps to solve the epistemological problem of empirical coherence in quantum gravity and suggested that it also (dis)solves the hard problem of spacetime, namely the problem of offering a picture consistent with the emergence of spacetime from a non-spatio-temporal structure. First, I will deny that spacetime functionalism solves the hard problem by showing that it comes in various species, each entailing a different attitude towards, or answer to, the hard problem. Second, I will argue that the existence of an explanatory gap, which grounds the hard problem, has not been correctly taken into account in the literature.

  • Spacetime functionalism
  • Hard problem
  • Qualia
  • Spacetime emergence
  • Empirical coherence
  • Quantum gravity
Citation (ISO format)
LE BIHAN, Baptiste. Spacetime emergence in quantum gravity: Functionalism and the hard problem. In: Synthese, 2021, vol. 199, p. 371–393. doi: 10.1007/s11229-019-02449-6
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Article (Accepted version)
ISSN of the journal1573-0964

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