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Philosophy of Physics: Space and Time

4.11  ·  Rating Details  ·  56 Ratings  ·  8 Reviews

This concise book introduces nonphysicists to the core philosophical issues surrounding the nature and structure of space and time, and is also an ideal resource for physicists interested in the conceptual foundations of space-time theory.

Tim Maudlin's broad historical overview examines Aristotelian and Newtonian accounts of space and time, and traces how Galileo's concept

ebook, 1st edition Princeton Foundations of Contemporary Philosophy, 183 pages
Published July 22nd 2012 by Princeton University Press
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Sep 06, 2014 Manuel rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is a wonderful book. I started reading it just to get a clearer picture on a couple of concepts of geometry, but the writing is so good that I kept turning the pages and eventually stuck with it to the end. The lessons on topology, transformations, and absolute space and time were just fantastic; I never knew something as commonsensical as Euclidean space would have so much involved. The book has 7 chapters, and the first 3 were easy, anyone can dive right in. Chapter 4, with the introducti ...more
José Uría
May 19, 2015 José Uría rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Un excelente tratado de filosofía de la física, centrado en el concepto de espacio-tiempo. La exposición es buena, amena y muy rigurosa, lo que lo convierte en una lectura muy agradable. Presenta algunos puntos de vista sobre el significado de la relatividad especial que no se corresponden con la visión popular entre la mayoría de los físicos. Quizá lo mejor es la presentación de las ideas de espacio absoluto en mecánica clásica, y la parte dedicada a la relatividad especial. También comenta alg ...more
Aug 20, 2012 Colin rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A concise, accessible, enjoyable, responsible and rewarding survey of the historical development of the physicist's conception of space and time.

I say it's concise because this volume weighs in at about 200 pages and covers spatial/temporal geometries from Aristotle, Newton, Galileo and Einstein.

There's certainly a bit of math in the book, but not so much as to exclude the layperson. The descriptions and diagrams provided are about as clear as they can be, given the subject.

I say it's responsib
Aaron LaPointe
I was hoping for something different, along the lines of Werner Heisenberg's Physics and Philosophy, but all I got was a glorified physics textbook. There are moments when Maudlin's book comes close to being a philosophy text, where links to the past are discussed and philosophical problems touched upon, but these are too few and far too brief.

This is the sort of book Physicists, like Sean Carroll, read for "fun". The math is light and Maudlin uses a broad brush to paint the history of space-tim
Brian Tracz
Aug 19, 2013 Brian Tracz rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is a briskly paced survey of conceptual issues in physics, using light mathematics to illustrate the larger geometrical picture of space and time. Maudlin's writing style is dry but clear, and the material and its presentation are engaging. I found the discussion of the Newton/Leibniz dispute over absolute space to be quite illuminative, and it was interesting to see Maudlin parse out which conceptual facets of Relativity (Special and General) are truly a departure from Galilean space-time, ...more
Feb 26, 2015 Murray rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: physics
Maudlin’s introduction to the Philosophy of Physics (Volume 1): Space & Time is a brief and somewhat concise account of the key historical theories of space and time, and a few core philosophical concerns with these theories.

Maudlin offers clear explanations of the necessary components of each theory. However, some of the components explicitly skipped or left unaddressed could have been more smoothly transitioned, or even justified in greater detail. One issue specifically would be less his
Nice overview of the philosophy of physics without an analysis of time. Author doesn't cover relativity with the same clarity that he covers Aristotle and Newton.
Oct 30, 2015 Maica rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: philosophy, science
The book was not an easy read, but the author presented these difficult concepts (especially to the non-physicist reader) in a non-technical and easy to understand language.
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