The March of Time: Evolving Conceptions of Time in the Light of Scientific Discoveries

Overview

The aim of this interdisciplinary study is to reconstruct the evolution of our changing conceptions of time in the light of scientific discoveries. It will adopt a new perspective and organize the material around three central themes, which run through our history of time reckoning: cosmology and regularity; stasis and flux; symmetry and asymmetry. It is the physical criteria that humans choose – relativistic effects and time-symmetric equations or dynamic-kinematic effects and asymmetric conditions – that ...

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Overview

The aim of this interdisciplinary study is to reconstruct the evolution of our changing conceptions of time in the light of scientific discoveries. It will adopt a new perspective and organize the material around three central themes, which run through our history of time reckoning: cosmology and regularity; stasis and flux; symmetry and asymmetry. It is the physical criteria that humans choose – relativistic effects and time-symmetric equations or dynamic-kinematic effects and asymmetric conditions – that establish our views on the nature of time. This book will defend a dynamic rather than a static view of time.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9783642353468
  • Publisher: Springer Berlin Heidelberg
  • Publication date: 4/30/2013
  • Edition description: 1st ed. 2013
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 284
  • Product dimensions: 6.40 (w) x 9.20 (h) x 0.90 (d)

Meet the Author

Friedel Weinert is professor of philosophy at Bradford University. He is the author of The Scientist as Philosopher (Springer 2004); Copernicus, Darwin and Freud (Blackwell 2008); the editor of Laws of Nature (de Gruyter 1995) and co-editor of Compendium of Quantum Physics (Springer 2009) and Evolution 2.0 (Springer 2012).

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Table of Contents

1 Evolving Conceptions of Time in the Light of Scientific Discoveries.- Introduction.- 2 Time and Cosmology.- Greek Astronomy.- Plato and Aristotle.- The Need for Physical Time.- Kant’s Cosmology.- Time and Causality.- The Topology of Time.- The Metric of Time.- Some Advances in the Theory of Time in Classical Physics.- Time in Modern Physics.- The Measurement of Time in Quantum Mechanics.- Why Measurement?.- On Permissible Inferences from Scientific Theories.- 3 Flux and Stasis.-Parmenidean Stasis and Heraclitean Flux.- Idealism About Time.- Realism About Time.- Relationism About Time.- The Theory of Relativity and the Block Universe.- Minkowski Spacetime and the Block Universe.- An Alternative Representation of Minkowski Space–Time.- Space–Time and Invariance.- The General Theory of Relativity.- Substantivalism and Relationism About Space–Time.- 4 Symmetry and Asymmetry.- Fundamental Equations and Human Experience.- Entropy and Order.- Reversibility and Irreversibility.- The Role of Boundary Conditions.- The Emergence of Time.- Time in Basic Quantum Mechanics.- Time Travel Scenarios.- 5 Conclusion.- Bibliography.- Index.

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