Student Theses and Dissertations

Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


This essay explores the following problem: to what extent is it possible to construe the causal structure of space-time as basic and from it to reconstruct the topological and metrical structure of space-time? The problem is first examiried within the context of Minkowski space-time (Chapter II) and then generalized to the class of space-time models considered in the general theory of relativity (Chapter III). Much of the essay is technical. But it is motivated by philosophical debate over the viability of causal theories of time and of space-time. By way of introduction, this initial chapter presents a brief discussion of these "causal theories." Nothing approaching a thorough analysis is intended. Rather the goal is merely to state what a causal theory time or space-time is supposed to be, outline several objections that have been raised against such theories, and most importantly, suggest why interest in them leads to the questions considered in Chapters II and III. This should set the stage.


A thesis submitted to the Faculty of The Rockefeller University in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy

Included in

Life Sciences Commons