This work covers the philosophical heart of the issues of space and time. It introduces the revolutionary ideas of Einstein, along with the concepts and arguments of philosophers, both ancient and modern, which have proved of lasting value. The text serves to introduce the subject for beginning students as well as provide a clear statement of the "state of the debate" for a popular science readership. Topics include Einstein's special and general relativity, how to build an atom bomb, the four-dimensional universe, the possibility of time travel, the impossibility of motion, whether space curves, the big bang, black holes, as well as an inflationary and accelerating universe.
J. B. Kennedy is a visiting lecturer in the history and philosophy of science at the University of Manchester.
Preface and acknowledgements Part I: Einstein's revolution 1. From Aristotle to Hiroshima 2. Einstein in a nutshell 3. The twin paradox 4. How to build an atomic bomb 5. The four-dimensional universe 6. Time travel is possible 7. Can the mind understand the world? Part II: Philosophical progress 8. Who invented space? 9. Zeno's paradoxes: is motion impossible? 10. Philosophers at war: Newton vs Leibniz 11. The philosophy of left and right 12. The unreality of time 13. General relativity: is space curved? 14. The fall of geometry: is mathematics certain? 15. The resurrection of absolutes 16. The resilience of space Part III: Frontiers 17. Faster than light: was Einstein wrong? 18. The Big Bang: how did the universe begin? 19. Black holes: trapdoors to nowhere 20. Why haven't aliens come visiting? 21. The inflationary and accelerating universe 22. Should we believe the physicists? Appendices Index
"A wealth of information and reflection presented as simply as the material allows - A masterful blending of physics, mathematics, metaphysics, ethical reflections, intellectual history and historical context. A good text for an introductory course on the philosophy of relativity, or background reading for a more advanced course." - International Journal of Philosophical Studies "A very clear and enjoyable book. A real strength is the way it relates issues about space and time that physicists have grappled with, over the history of science, to deep and longstanding philosophical issues. Introductory books sometimes make passing reference to the deep philosophical questions, but I've never read one that introduces them so clearly, and then uses them so effectively, to enliven and illuminate the issues." - Carl Hoefer, Universitat Autonoma de Barcelona
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Taylor & Francis Ltd