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Einstein v Minkowski.

  1. Mar 26, 2010 #1
    Regarding the book Einstein, Relativity and Absolute Simultaneity edited by William Lane Craig and Quentin Smith. Routledge 2008.

    Chapter 1- The metaphysics of special relativity: three views. William Lane Craig.

    This deals with the Einsteinian interpretation, the Minkowskian interpretation and the Lorentzian interpretation, but, to me, is not very clear about the difference in the case of the first two. My question is, how are these two different apart from the second being more geometrical in its treatment? In other words is the author justified in calling them different interpretations of SR?

    The editors are philosophy professors.

  2. jcsd
  3. Mar 27, 2010 #2


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    I think if we didn't have Minkowski, and only had Einstein 1905, we could still do SR fine. But we really needed Minkowski to go from SR to GR.

    Edit: Maybe not - could we have gotten there from Deser, Feynman, Weinberg's ungeometrical approach to GR? (reviewed here by Straumann http://arxiv.org/abs/astro-ph/0006423). But in the end we still end up with flat spacetime being unobservable, so I'd say Minkowski's recognition of the metric was crucial for it becoming the gravitational field.
    Last edited: Mar 27, 2010
  4. Mar 27, 2010 #3


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    It was a bit like Galileo and Newton.
    E and M present the same theory, but M made it fly.
    Lorentz is like the Aristotle of Relativity-- yesterday's news.
  5. Mar 27, 2010 #4


    Staff: Mentor

    :rolleyes: Need anything more be said?
  6. Mar 27, 2010 #5
    I cannot think why I added that particular bit of information!!!!!!!!!

  7. Mar 27, 2010 #6
    Not wanting to stir things up but Physicists among the posters here may also be interested in a quote from the same book. When talking about A and B theories of time ---

    ---- The problem here is, in a sense, the reverse of the first problem we mentioned above, namely, the physicists’ lack of awareness of the many arguments that philosophers have provided against the epistemology, philosophy of language, and ontology presupposed by the Special Theory.------

    The authors’ sentiments, not mine.

  8. Mar 27, 2010 #7


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    A surprisingly large number of philosopers think they understand physics better than physicists. I don't remember who it was, but there's a 'post-modern' philosoper who claims that E = mc2 is a "masculinist" equation! And they wonder why physicists don't take them seriously... :rolleyes:
  9. Mar 27, 2010 #8
    Looking up "Fashionable Nonsense" in Wiki will reveal many equally ridiculous utterances from post moderrnists and is well worth a read if you are in need of a little light humour after a hard days physicing.

  10. Mar 27, 2010 #9


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    Good stuff indeed. From the back cover of one of WLC earlier books "Time and the Metaphysics of Relativity" http://books.google.com/books?id=EY...+Lane+Craig+relativity&source=gbs_navlinks_s: The present volume is part of a larger project, which is the attempt to craft a coherent dictrine of divine eternity and God's relationship to time. :rofl:
  11. Mar 27, 2010 #10
    In the originally mentioned book WLC deals briefly, early on, with the relevance of the nature of a god to Newton's views on time. I should have begun to smell a rat then. Having said that, there are some interesting quotes that I have not seen before, mostly by Lorentz, in the earlier parts of the book that I have read so far.

  12. Mar 27, 2010 #11


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