The Reign Of Relativity: Philosophy In Physics 1915-1925

Paperback | May 4, 2007

byThomas Ryckman

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Universally recognized as bringing about a revolutionary transformation of the notions of space, time, and motion in physics, Einstein's theory of gravitation, known as "general relativity," was also a defining event for 20th century philosophy of science. During the decisive first ten yearsof the theory's existence, two main tendencies dominated its philosophical reception. This book is an extended argument that the path actually taken, which became logical empiricist philosophy of science, greatly contributed to the current impasse over realism, whereas new possibilities are openedin revisiting and reviving the spirit of the more sophisticated tendency, a cluster of viewpoints broadly termed transcendental idealism, and furthering its articulation. It also emerges that Einstein, while paying lip service to the emerging philosophy of logical empiricism, ended up siding defacto with the latter tendency. Ryckman's work speaks to several groups, among them philosophers of science and historians of relativity. Equations are displayed as necessary, but Ryckman gives the non-mathematical reader enough background to understand their occurrence in the context of his wider philosophical project.

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Universally recognized as bringing about a revolutionary transformation of the notions of space, time, and motion in physics, Einstein's theory of gravitation, known as "general relativity," was also a defining event for 20th century philosophy of science. During the decisive first ten yearsof the theory's existence, two main tendencie...

Thomas Ryckman received his Ph.D. in Philosophy from Columbia University in 1986. He has taught philosophy of science at Wesleyan University, The University of Illinois at Chicago, Northwestern University, the University of California, Berkeley, and Stanford University. He lives in San Francisco.

other books by Thomas Ryckman

Format:PaperbackDimensions:320 pages, 9.25 × 6.13 × 0.68 inPublished:May 4, 2007Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0195320182

ISBN - 13:9780195320183

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"This is (or should be) a major "paradigm shift" in contemporary philosophy of science and epistemology. Ryckman masterfully blends usually incommensurable skills in mathematics (differential geometry), physics(gravitational and electrodynamic theory), Husserlian phenomenology, logicalempiricism, and neo-Kantianism to rehabilitate post-1916 Einstein discourse on the phiolosophy and strategy of general relativity and unified field theory. Highly recommended."--CHOICE