, Volume 9, Issue 1, pp 69–77 | Cite as

On Spacetime, Points, and Bare Particulars

  • Martin SchmidtEmail author
Original Paper


In his paper Bare Particulars, T. Sider claims that one of the most plausible candidates for bare particulars are spacetime points. The aim of this paper is to shed light on Sider’s reasoning and its consequences. There are three concepts of spacetime points that allow their identification with bare particulars. One of them, Moderate structural realism, is considered to be the most adequate due its appropriate approach to spacetime metric and moderate view of mereological simples. However, it pushes the Substratum theory to dismiss primitive thisness as the only identity condition for bare particulars, but the paper argues that such elimination is a legitimate step.


Bare particulars Spacetime The Substratum theory Identity 



I am in debt to M. Esfeld, J. Golosz, and T. Sider for their e-mail replies that helped me to clarify the approach of MSR to bare particulars (Esfeld and Golosz) and expose some details of the proposal to identify spacetime points with bare particulars (Sider).


  1. Adams R M (1979) Primitive Thisness and Primitive Identity. The Journal of Philosophy, Vol. 76, No. 1: 5–26CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Butterfield J (2006) Against Pointillisme about Mechanics. The British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 57: 709–753. Available at: Cited 1 Nov 2007CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Davis R B (2003) ‘Partly Clad’ Bare Particulars Exposed. Australasian Journal of Philosophy, Vol. 81, No. 4: 534–548CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Dorato M (2006) Is Structural Realism Relationalism in Disguise? The Supererogatory Nature of the Substantivalism/relationalism Debate. Proceedings of the second Montreal conference on the Ontology of Spacetime, Concordia University. Available at: Cited 1. Nov 2007
  5. Earman J (1989) World Enough and Space-Time: Absolute versus Relational Theories of Space and Time. MIT, Cambridge, MA.Google Scholar
  6. Esfeld M, Lam V (2006) Moderate Structural Realism about Space-Time. Available at: Cited 1 Nov. 2007
  7. Golosz J (2005): Structural Essentialism and Determinism. Erkenntnis 63: 73–100CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Lewis D (1983) Extrinsic Properties. Philosophical Studies 44: 197–200CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Lowe E J (2003) Individuation. In: Loux, M J, Zimmerman D W (eds) The Oxford Handbook of Metaphysics. The Oxford Handbook of Metaphysics, Oxford University PressGoogle Scholar
  10. Maudlin T (1989) The Essence of Space-Time. Philosophy of Science Association, Volume 2: 82–91Google Scholar
  11. Meschini D, Lehto M (2006) Is Empty Spacetime a Physical Thing? Foundations of Physics, Vol. 36, No. 8: 1193–1216CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Moreland J. P (1998) Theories of Individuation: A Reconsideration of Particulars. Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 79: 251–263CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Parsons J (2007) Theories of Location. In: Zimmerman D (ed): Oxford Studies in Metaphysics 3, Oxford. Available at: Cited 1 Nov 2007
  14. Sider T (2006) Bare Particulars. Philosophical Perspectives 20: 387–97. Available at: Cited 1 Nov 2007CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Skow B (2007) Are Shapes Intrinsic? Philosophical Studies, Volume 133, Number 1: 111–130. Available at: Cited 1 Nov 2007CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Tichý P (1988) The Foundations of Frege‘s Logic. Walter de Gruyter, Berlin–New YorkGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Katedra filozofieBanska BystricaSlovakia

Personalised recommendations