Space, Time, and Einstein: An Introduction

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McGill-Queen's Press - MQUP, 2003 - Philosophy - 244 pages
An enlightening introduction to the philosophy of time and space. J.B. Kennedy offers an introduction to one of the liveliest and most popular fields in philosophy - time and space - aimed specifically at a beginning readership with no background in philosophy or science. He goes to the philosophical heart of the issues without recourse to jargon, mathematics, or logical formulas and introduces Einstein's revolutionary ideas in a clear and simple way, as well as concepts and arguments of other relevant philosophers, both ancient and modern. Current debates in philosophy and physics are also handled with exemplary clarity and Kennedy is able to provide readers with a real sense of where we have come from and where we are going. The writing is engaging, lively, and entertaining and serves to introduce the subject to beginning students as well as providing a clear statement of the "state of the debate" for a popular science readership. Kennedy covers such topics as 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, and the idea of inflationary and accelerating universes.
 

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Contents

From Aristotle to Hiroshima
3
Einstein in a nutshell
11
The twin paradox
31
How to build an atomic bomb
40
The fourdimensional universe
57
Time travel is possible
66
Can the mind understand the world? 40 50 66
71
Philosophical progress
75
is mathematics certain?
149
The resurrection of absolutes
159
The resilience of space
172
was Einstein wrong?
177
how did the universe begin?
185
Why havent aliens come visiting?
193
Should we believe the physicists?
202
Symmetry and Lorentzs minority interpretation
222

Who invented space?
77
is motion impossible?
92
Newton vs Leibniz
104
The philosophy of left and right
126
The unreality of time
133
is space curved?
139

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