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Einstein was the first who saw spacetime as a mallable substance to be malled with mass. As far as I know there were no people who suggested such a view of spacetime before him. But I could be wrong.

I could find no info on the net. Did maybe the founders of the math that lays at the base of general relativity adhered to such a view of spacetime?

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    $\begingroup$ The relationalism of Leibniz denied the absolute space and absolute motion of Newton, arguing that all motion is relative and without objects there is no space, however there is no mention of malleable space. Mach also argued against Netwon's absolute space. $\endgroup$
    – Nick
    Jul 23 at 21:49
  • $\begingroup$ I should have mentioned that Mach was a huge influence on Einstein. See, for example How Einstein got the first idea for special relativity? $\endgroup$
    – Nick
    Jul 23 at 22:48
  • $\begingroup$ @Nick Yes indeed. Mach's priciple was something Einstein thought a lot about. Mach's view on space(time?) differed with Einstein's. But at the same time Mach's idea of space was absolute but not the same as Newton's. Mach view had a kind of relativity in it but Im not sure how his idea looked. Was all motion relative in an absolute space? $\endgroup$ Jul 23 at 23:02
  • $\begingroup$ I'm not even sure spacetime was an integrated concept before Minkowski. $\endgroup$
    – Spencer
    Jul 25 at 23:56

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