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Some Perspective

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Posted by Harvey on July 12, 2004 00:18:37 UTC

If you wish to address space from a scientific perspective, then I agree, you can 'define' it by making reference to mathematics (e.g., Reimannian geometry, etc). However, I don't think you can say that you defining space, rather you are seeking a appropriate model for space. For a scientific model, one would hope for a predictive model so that we can test the model to see if it is accurate and reliable. If you can't develop a predictive model, then at the very least the model should be explanatative. That is, the model is able to cohere with existing theories (e.g., general relativity) in a manner that other scientific explanations are less satisfactory.

I'm guessing, but perhaps the reason you are using an axiomatic approach to 'defining' space is that an axiomatic approach is sometimes considered to be more fundamental. If so, I still think it's a mistake to confuse 'fundamental' with a definition. Obviously Euclid provided an axiomatic description of space, but it wasn't a definition as we know since Einstein.

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