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Travels in Four Dimensions: The Enigmas of Space and Time »

Book cover image of Travels in Four Dimensions: The Enigmas of Space and Time by Robin Le Poidevin

Authors: Robin Le Poidevin
ISBN-13: 9780198752547, ISBN-10: 0198752547
Format: Hardcover
Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA
Date Published: August 2003
Edition: (Non-applicable)

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Author Biography: Robin Le Poidevin

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.

Book Synopsis

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.

Table of Contents

1The Measure of All Things1
2Change13
3A Box with No Sides?30
4Curves and Dimensions52
5The Beginning and End of Time73
6The Edge of Space89
7Infinity and Paradox101
8Does Time Pass?122
9The Cinematic Universe148
10Interfering with History164
11Other Times and Spaces185
12The Arrows of Time202
Concluding Thoughts234
Mr. Dunne's Dream and Other Problems248
Further Reading255
Bibliography263
Index269

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