Dennis Lehmkuhl

Research Assistant Professor of History and Philosophy of Science
MSc., Imperial College London, 2003; M.A., Hamburg University, 2006; DPhil., Oxford University (Oriel College), 2009. Visiting Associate, Caltech, 2010, 2012, 2015. Caltech, 2015-18.

Dennis Lehmkuhl's work focuses on the history and philosophy of physics, specifically of spacetime theories. He has worked on Einstein's interpretation of general relativity and other spacetime theories, and on the question of how his positions square with the modern debates in the foundations of spacetime theories. He is particularly interested in questions like the status of the equivalence principle, the geodesic theorem, and how general relativity shold be interpreted as compared to alternative spacetime theories like scalar-tensor theories, the relativistic extensions of Modified Newtonian Mechanics (MOND), or classical unified field theories based on geometric generalisations of pseudo-Riemannian geometry.

As of 2015, Lehmkuhl is Scientific Editor at the Einstein Papers Project, which annotates and publishes the Collected Papers of Albert Einstein with Princeton University Press. He is currently working on Volume 15, which spans the years 1925-1927. He believes that this will be a particularly interesting volume: among other things it covers the birth years of modern quantum mechanics and Einstein's correspondence on this with Heisenberg, Schroedinger, Born and Jordan, Einstein's first paper (co-written with Jakob Grommer) on the problem of motion in GR, and so far virtually unknown correspondence between Einstein and Hans Reichenbach and Yuri George Rainich on the interpretation of spacetime theories.

Lehmkuhl graduated with a DPhil from the University of Oxford in 2009, after graduate studies at Imperial College London, the London School of Economics and the University of Hamburg. Before joining Caltech, Lehmkuhl had been a Departmental Lecturer at the University of Oxford, a Junior Professor at the University of Wuppertal in Germany, and a visiting fellow at the Center of Philosophy of Science at the University of Pittsburgh.

Selected Publications 



  •  `Einstein's Principles. On the Interpretation of Spacetime Theories'. Under Contract with Oxford University Press; in preparation.


Peer-Reviewed Articles

  • `Literal vs careful interpretations of scientific theories: the vacuum approach to the problem of motion in general relativity' Forthcoming in Philosophy of Science.
  •     `The Metaphysics of Super-Substantivalism' Forthcoming in Nous. Preprint at
  • `The Space of Spacetime Theories'. Forthcoming in: Lehmkuhl, Scholz, Schiemann (eds.): `Towards a Theory of Spacetime Theories´. Einstein Studies, Birkäuser, 2016.
  • `Einstein, the Reality of Space, and the Action-Reaction Principle' (with Harvey Brown), in The Nature of Reality, ed. Partha Ghose, Routledge, 2016. Preprint:
  • Particle Physics and the Higgs discovery: Philosophical Perspectives' (with Simon Friederich). Studies in History and Philosophy of Physics, Volume 51,  August 2015, pp. 69-70.
  • `Why Einstein did not believe that General Relativity geometrizes gravity.' Sudies in History and Philosophy of Physics, Volume 46,  May 2014, pp. 316-326.
  •   `Time in Spacetimes.' Philosophia Naturalis, Volume 49, No. 2, December 2012.
  •  `Mass-Energy-Momentum. Only there because of Spacetime?' The British Journal for the Philosophy of Science, Volume 62, No. 3, 2011. pp. 454-488.
  •  `Super-Substanzialismus in der Philosophie der Raumzeit´ In: Michael Esfeld (ed.): Philosophie der Physik. Suhrkamp 2011.
  •   `Matter(s) in Relativity Theory'. In: Dorato, M., Rédei, M. and Suárez, M. (eds): Philosophical Issues in the Sciences: Launch of the European Philosophy of Science Association. Springer, 2010, peer-reviewed.
  •   `Is spacetime a gravitational field?'  In: Dennis Dieks, `The Ontology of Spacetime II.' Series: Philosophy and Foundations of Physics, Elsevier Science, 2008, peer-reviewed.

PUBLICATIONS (As Editor and Translator)

  •  `Towards a Theory of Spacetime Theories´.  Forthcoming with Einstein Studies, Birkäuser, 2016.
  •  Special Issue on `Particle Physics after the Higgs Discovery' (with Simon Friederich), in: Studies in the History and Philosophy of Physics, Volume 51, August 2015.
  •   `The Collected Papers of Albert Einstein, Volume 14. The Berlin Years: April 1923 - June 1925' with Diana Kormos Buchwald, Ze'ev Rosenkranz, Tilman Sauer, József Illy, (eds.); Daniel J. Kennefick, A.J. Kox and Osik Moses (assoc. eds.). Princeton University Press, 2015.
  •   `The Collected Papers of Albert Einstein, Volume 13. The Berlin Years: January 1922 – March 1923' with Diana Kormos Buchwald, Ze'ev Rosenkranz, Tilman Sauer, József Illy, (eds.); Daniel J. Kennefick, A.J. Kox and Osik Moses (assoc. eds.). Princeton University Press, 2012.
  •   `Hermann Minkowski's ``Space and Time´´(Translation). In: Vesselin Petkov (editor): `Minkowski Spacetime: A Hundred Years later´. Springer, 2010.



  •  `The Epistemology of Spacetime Geometry'. Commissioned by The Stanford Encyclopaedia of Philosophy.
  • `On different types of geodesic theorems in General Relativity'.
  • `The genesis of Einstein's work on the problem of motion'.
  • `The Local (In)validity of Special Relativity'. With James Read and Harvey Brown.
  • `Gravitational Waves and Spacetime: Do they carry energy?' With Patrick Duerr.
  • `The Collected Papers of Albert Einstein, Volume 15. The Berlin Years: June 1925 - April 1927' with Diana Kormos Buchwald, Ze'ev Rosenkranz, József Illy, (eds.); Daniel J. Kennefick, A.J. Kox, Michel Janssen, Tony Duncan (assoc. eds.). Princeton University Press, 2017.
  • Dennis Lehmkuhl
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