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Travels in Four Dimensions The Enigmas of Space and Time

ISBN-10: 0198752555

ISBN-13: 9780198752554

Edition: 2003

Authors: Robin Le Poidevin

List price: $34.95
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Description:

Space and time are the most fundamental features of our experience of the world, and yet they are also the most perplexing. Does time really flow, or is that simply an illusion? Did time have a beginning? What does it mean to say that time has a direction? Does space have boundaries, or is it infinite? Is change really possible? Could space and time exist in the absence of any objects or events? Are our space and time unique, or could there be other, parallel worlds with their own space and time? What, in the end, are space and time? Do they really exist, or are they simply the constructions of our minds? Robin Le Poidevin provides a clear, witty, and stimulating introduction to these deep questions, and many other mind-boggling puzzles and paradoxes. He gives a vivid sense of the difficulties raised by our ordinary ideas about space and time, but he also gives us the basis to think about these problems independently, avoiding large amounts of jargon and technicality. His book is an invitation to think philosophically rather than a sustained argument for particular conclusions, but Le Poidevin does advance and defend a number of controversial views. He argues, for example, that time does not actually flow, that it is possible for space and time to be both finite and yet be without boundaries, and that causation is the key to an understanding of one of the deepest mysteries of time: its direction. Travels in Four Dimensions draws on a variety of vivid examples and stories from science, history, and literature to bring its questions to life. No prior knowledge of philosophy is required to enjoy this book. The universe might seem very different after reading it.
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Book details

List price: $34.95
Copyright year: 2003
Publisher: Oxford University Press, Incorporated
Publication date: 2/17/2005
Binding: Paperback
Pages: 296
Size: 5.25" wide x 7.75" long x 0.50" tall
Weight: 0.748
Language: English

The Measure of All Things
Incident at Greenwich
Metric, Convention, and Fact
Time and the Laws of Nature
Change
Time as Change
Time without Change?
Everything Has a Reason
A Box with No Sides?
Where Two Worlds Meet
Aristotle against the Void
Jars, Pumps, and Barometers
Lessons of the Vacuum
The Redundancy of Space
The Search for Absolute Motion
Curves and Dimensions
Euclid Displaced
Space Makes Its Presence Felt
The Lone Hand
More than Three Dimensions?
The Beginning and End of Time
Echoes of Creation, Portents of Armageddon
The Limits of Reason
Can the Past be Infinite?
The Great Circle
The Edge of Space
Archytas at the Edge
Is There Space beyond the Universe?
The Illusion of Infinity
Infinity and Paradox
Zeno: How the Tortoise Beat Achilles
Two Responses to Zeno: Infinitesimals and Finitism
Thomson's Lamp
A Puzzle about Transition
Democritus' Cone
Atoms of Space and Time
Does Time Pass?
The Mystery of Passage
McTaggart's Proof of the Unreality of Time
First Response: Presentism
Second Response: the B-Theory
Why Is There Only One Present?
The Cinematic Universe
Muybridge's Horse and Zeno's Arrow
No Motion at an Instant?
No Motion in the Present?
Zeno and the Presentist
Interfering with History
The Lost Days
The Alterability of the Past
Dilemmas of the Time-Traveller
Causation in Reverse
Other Times and Spaces
Probability and the Multiverse
Branching Space
Objections and Consequences
The Arrows of Time
The Hidden Signpost
Three Arrows, and Why Things Fall Apart
The Mind's Past
The Seeds of Time
Parallel Causes
Is Time Order Merely Local?
Are Causes Simultaneous with Their Effects?
A Sense of Direction in a Directionless World
Concluding Thoughts
Mr Dunne's Dream and Other Problems
Further Reading
Bibliography
Index