, Volume 81, Issue 5, pp 1073–1091 | Cite as

Are Newtonian Gravitation and Geometrized Newtonian Gravitation Theoretically Equivalent?

  • James Owen Weatherall
Original Article


I argue that a criterion of theoretical equivalence due to Glymour (Noûs 11(3):227–251, 1977) does not capture an important sense in which two theories may be equivalent. I then motivate and state an alternative criterion that does capture the sense of equivalence I have in mind. The principal claim of the paper is that relative to this second criterion, the answer to the question posed in the title is “yes”, at least on one natural understanding of Newtonian gravitation.


Gauge Transformation Gravitational Potential Physical Theory Equivalent Theory Minkowski Spacetime 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.



This material is based upon work supported by the National Science Foundation under Grant No. 1331126. Thank you to Steve Awodey, Jeff Barrett, Thomas Barrett, Ben Feintzeig, Sam Fletcher, Clark Glymour, Hans Halvorson, Eleanor Knox, David Malament, John Manchak, Colin McLarty, John Norton, Cailin O’Connor, Oliver Pooley, Sarita Rosenstock, Jeff Schatz, Kyle Stanford, and Noel Swanson for helpful conversations on the topics discussed here, and to audiences at the Southern California Philosophy of Physics Group, the University of Konstanz, and Carnegie Mellon University for comments and discussion. I am particularly grateful to Erik Curiel, Clark Glymour, Hans Halvorson, David Malament, and two anonymous referees for comments on a previous draft, and to Thomas Barrett for detailed discussion and assistance concerning the relationship between categorical equivalence and definitional equivalence.


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© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Logic and Philosophy of ScienceUniversity of CaliforniaIrvineUSA

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