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Good space/time book here

  1. Jul 13, 2011 #1
    I just read an amazing book called "The Existence of Space and Time" by Ian Hinckfuss (Oxford Press, 1975). Philosophy of physics behind space and time. It is also somewhat covertly about relativity. Very short, very readable (based on lectures given), super clear. It also has very nice bibliographies at the end of each chapter. If you are about to jump into Max Jammer's "Concepts of Space" and/or Reichenbach's "Philosophy of Space and Time" this would be a good primer.

    Maybe this isn't much of a review but I just felt like this is a lost gem. In particular the very first subsection in the first chapter "What is space?" poses the issue most admirably.
  2. jcsd
  3. Jul 14, 2011 #2
    Thanks! Could you please post the Table of Contents.
  4. Jul 14, 2011 #3
    Sure. I'm also going to search ISIS for this when I get back to the campus library.
    list of figures

    1. Space - Relational or Absolute? (pg3-13)
    1.1 What is space?
    1.2 Relational theories of space
    1.3 Absolute theories of space
    1.4 What is reduction?
    1.5 Sources and historical notes for chapter 1

    2. The properties of space (pg13-32)
    2.1 Introduction
    2.2 The conductivity of space
    2.3 The permittivity of empty space
    2.4 The magnetic permeability of empty space
    2.5 The speed of electromagnetic radiation in empty space
    2.6 Kinematic properties of space
    2.7 Dynamic properties of space
    2.8 Sources and historical notes for chapter 2

    3. Space and Geometry (pg32-63)
    3.1 Geometrical properties of space
    3.2 Topological properties of space
    3.3 The dimensionality of space
    3.4 Space as physically possible types of events
    3.5 Points and pointing systems
    3.6 Amounts of space
    3.7 The nocturnal expansion problem
    3.8 Sources and historical notes for chapter 3

    4. Time, Space, and Space-Time (pg63-84)
    4.1 Similarities and dissimilarities between time and space
    4.2 Measurement of time, and the frozen universe problem
    4.3 Questions of temporal topology
    4.4 More differences between space and time
    4.5 Sources and historical notes for chapter 4

    5. Existence and the present (84-117)
    5.1 Words and concepts
    5.2 The debate on tense elimination
    5.3 Events, tense, and existence
    5.4 Moore's problem and The Present
    5.5 Simultaneity, the Theory of the Present, and Maxwell's theory of electromagnetic radiation
    5.6 Einstein's operational definition of simultaneity
    5.7 Experimental confirmation of Maxwell's theory of electromagnetic radiation
    5.8 Sources and notes for chapter 5

    6. Temporal Asymmetry (117-140)
    6.1 Introduction
    6.2 Causes and effects
    6.3 Knowledge and decision
    6.4 Does the 2nd law of thermodynamics display a temporal asymmetry?
    6.5 Local and accidental asymmetries within time
    6.6 Sources and bibliography for chapter 6

    Conclusion: The existence of space and time: The nature of the relationalist programme

    Selected bibliography
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