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Travels in Four Dimensions: The Enigmas of Space and Time / Edition 1

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Overview

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? 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.
Drawing on a variety of vivid examples from science, history, and literature, Travels in Four Dimensions brings to life some of the most profound questions imaginable.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780198752554
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA
  • Publication date: 2/17/2005
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 303
  • Product dimensions: 7.90 (w) x 5.30 (h) x 0.80 (d)

Meet the Author

Robin Le Poidevin is Professor of Metaphysics at the University of Leeds. He is the author of Questions of Time and Tense and coauthor of The Philosophy of Time.

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Table of Contents

1 The Measure of All Things 1
2 Change 13
3 A Box with No Sides? 30
4 Curves and Dimensions 52
5 The Beginning and End of Time 73
6 The Edge of Space 89
7 Infinity and Paradox 101
8 Does Time Pass? 122
9 The Cinematic Universe 148
10 Interfering with History 164
11 Other Times and Spaces 185
12 The Arrows of Time 202
Concluding Thoughts 234
Mr. Dunne's Dream and Other Problems 248
Further Reading 255
Bibliography 263
Index 269
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