It has recently been argued that Harvey Brown and Oliver Pooley’s ‘dynamical approach’ to special relativity should be understood as what might be called an ontologically and ideologically relationalist approach to Minkowski geometry, according to which Minkowski geometrical structure supervenes upon the symmetries of the best-systems dynamical laws for a material world with primitive topological or differentiable structure. Fleshing out the details of some such primitive structure, and a concep…

Read moreIt has recently been argued that Harvey Brown and Oliver Pooley’s ‘dynamical approach’ to special relativity should be understood as what might be called an ontologically and ideologically relationalist approach to Minkowski geometry, according to which Minkowski geometrical structure supervenes upon the symmetries of the best-systems dynamical laws for a material world with primitive topological or differentiable structure. Fleshing out the details of some such primitive structure, and a conception of laws according to which Minkowski geometry could so supervene, has been referred to by some as the ‘constructivist project’. Here, it is explained that Nick Huggett’s work on ‘regularity relationalism’ provides a framework for such an approach, and a relativistic version of Huggett’s regularity relationalism is outlined for that purpose. Finally, by way of examples, it is shown that this approach fails in the simplest cases. Still, reasons are given for which this should not necessarily discourage an advocate of this interpretation of the dynamical approach. _1_ Introduction to the Dynamical Approach _2_ Huggett’s Regularity Relationalism _3_ The Dynamical Approach as a Form of Regularity Relationalism _4_ A Simple Way to Set the Stage _5_ A First Attempt _5.1_ Complex-valued planewave solutions _5.2_ Real-valued planewave solutions _6_ More General Solutions _7_ Summary and Reflections