- Introduction: Suppose you are a physicist with a good working knowledge of relativity theory but wondering what its conceptual implications are. Where will you go for a clear discussion of this that does not presuppose previous acquaintance with philosophy? Or suppose you are running a third-year undergraduate or Master's course in philosophy of space-time physics. What will you choose as your text? Or suppose you are neither a philosopher nor a physicist but want a hard-headed introduction to some of the trickiest intellectual questions of space and time. Where would you start? Happily, there is now (for the first time, I would guess) a single answer to all of these questions. It is Barry Dainton's clear, elegant, well-illustrated and remarkably comprehensive Time and Space, published in paperback at an attractive price.
- Conclusion: The book goes well beyond the confines of an introduction. The writing is exceptionally clear, but the complexity and sophistication of the ideas do sometimes pose an obstacle to accessibility. Even Dainton's sympathetic and painstaking reconstruction did not dispel my bafflement over John Foster's argument for spatial anti-realism, for example. I also found the later chapters on physics fairly tough going, and I felt that the explicitly philosophical content tended to diminish towards the end. But it is to Dainton's credit that such an ambitious undertaking should have been so successful. Time and Space is an immensely rich and informative discussion, and should be on all space and time reading lists, both for philosophers and for physicists.
Reviews "Dainton (Barry) - Time and Space".
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- Blue: Text by me; © Theo Todman, 2018
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