Space, Time, and Spacetime
In this book, Lawrence Sklar demonstrates the interdependence of science and philosophy by examining a number of crucial problems on the nature of space and time—problems that require for their resolution the resources of philosophy and of physics.
The overall issues explored are our knowledge of the geometry of the world, the existence of spacetime as an entity over and above the material objects of the world, the relation between temporal order and causal order, and the problem of the direction of time. Without neglecting the most subtle philosophical points or the most advanced contributions of contemporary physics, the author has taken pains to make his explorations intelligible to the reader with no advanced training in physics, mathematics, or philosophy. The arguments are set forth step-by-step, beginning from first principles; and the philosophical discussions are supplemented in detail by nontechnical expositions of crucial features of physical theories.
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B An Outline of the History of Geometry
Space and Time versus SpacetimeA
The Physical Possibility of a NonEuclidean World
The Empiricist Reply to Poincare
The Conventionality of Nonmetric Features
H The Framework of Philosophical Perplexity
Bibliography for Chapter II
Bibliography for Chapter III
A Preliminary Remarks
Causal Order and Temporal Order in Special Relativity
Causal Order and Temporal Order in General Relativity
E The Causal Theory of Time
Bibliography for Chapter IV
A The Philosophical Background
Some De Facto Irreversible Processes
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absolute acceleration actual aether alternative argument assertions assumption asymmetric relation axioms basic believe causal relations causal signal causal theory characterize claim clock closed timelike lines conventionality coordinate coordinatization curve defined definition direction distance Einstein electromagnetic entities entropy equation equilibrium Euclidean geometry example existence experience fact genidentical geodesic given gravitational field hypothesis inertial forces inertial frame interval lawlike laws light rays Lobachevskian locations Machian mass mass-energy material objects meaning metaphysical metric Minkowski spacetime motion with respect neo-Newtonian Newton Newtonian non-Euclidean non-Euclidean geometries observational consequences particle particular philosophical Philosophy of Space plane position possible worlds postulates prerelativistic principle priori propositions question reductionist region relativistic rest Riemannian Riemannian geometry rods scientific set of events simply simultaneous spacelike spatial special relativity structure substantival space surface symmetry temporal priority temporal relations temporal separation theoretical theory of relativity tion tonian topological truth vector velocity of light verificationist