Travels in Four Dimensions: The Enigmas of Space and Time

Paperback | October 26, 2004

byRobin Le Poidevin

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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 itinfinite? Is change really possible? Could space and time exist in the absence of any objects or events? Are our space and time unique, or could there be other, parallel worlds with their own space and time? What, in the end, are space and time? Do they really exist, or are they simply theconstructions 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 theseproblems 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 finiteand yet be without boundaries, and that causation is the key to an understanding of one of the deepest mysteries of time: its direction.Travels in Four Dimensions draws on a variety of vivid examples and stories from science, history, and literature to bring its questions to life. No prior knowledge of philosophy is required to enjoy this book. The universe might seem very different after reading it.

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From the Publisher

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 itinfinite? Is change really possible? Could s...

Robin Le Poidevin is Professor of Metaphysics at the University of Leeds.

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Format:PaperbackDimensions:296 pages, 8.5 × 5.43 × 0.67 inPublished:October 26, 2004Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0198752555

ISBN - 13:9780198752554

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Table of Contents

Preface1. The Measure of All Things2. Change3. A Box with No Sides?4. Curves and Dimensions5. The Beginning and End of Time6. The Edge of Space7. Infinity and Paradox8. Does Time Pass?9. The Cinematic Universe10. Interfering with History11. Other Times and Spaces12. The Arrows of TimeConcluding ThoughtsMr Dunne's Dream and Other ProblemsFurther ReadingBibliographyIndex

Editorial Reviews

`Review from previous edition This book is a fine introduction to many of the classical puzzles and paradoxes of space, time and the continuum ... Anyone new to these topics will find much to savour and ponder ... The writing is clear ... the pace is brisk.'Barry Dainton, Times Literary Supplement