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Time's Arrows Today

Time's Arrows Today
Recent Physical and Philosophical Work on the Direction of Time

$67.00 (P)

M. Barrett, R. Douglas, J. Earman, P. Horwich, A. J. Leggett, S. McCall, H. Price, S. Savitt, L. Sklar, E. Sober, P. Stamp, W. G. Unruh
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  • Date Published: June 1997
  • availability: Available
  • format: Paperback
  • isbn: 9780521599450

$ 67.00 (P)

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About the Authors
  • While it may seem indisputable that time flows in a linear fashion (from past to future), there are a number of philosophical and physical objections to this notion. In the quest to make sense of this conundrum, philosophers and physicists confront fascinating and irresistible questions such as whether effects can precede causes, and whether one can travel in time. In this book, eleven eminent scholars who stand at the boundary between physics and philosophy attempt to answer these questions. There are chapters by W. Unruh and H. Price on cosmology; A. Leggett, P. Stamp, and S. McCall on quantum theory; M. Barrett, E. Sober, and L. Sklar on thermodynamics, and P. Horwich and J. Earman on time travel. The book will be enjoyed by anyone of a speculative turn of mind fascinated by the puzzle of time.

    • The direction of time is a very hot subject in both philosophy and physics
    • Interdisciplinary approach
    • Contains original contributions of a seminal nature, for example, Earman's paper on time travel is likely to become one of the landmarks of the literature
    • Accessible to general readership looking for a challenging read
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    Reviews & endorsements

    "This book juxtaposes articles by physicists and philosophers...four major themes of the book: quantum mechanics, the measurement problem, cosmology, and the arrow of time...One of the most useful articles in this collection, a previously published essay by philosopher Lawrence Sklar, discusses attempts to derive time asymmetry from kinetic theory." David Layzer, American Journal of Physics

    "I heartily recommend this collection to anyone, philosopher or scientist, interested in the direction of time. Many of the papers make significant contributions to the field, and I found almost all of them quite interesting. I am confident this book will emerge as a standard text in the philosophy of time." Craig Callender, Canadian Philosophical Review

    "In this excellent collection of well-documented works by eminent scholars on the direction of time, fundamental questions concerning the nature of time are discussed....With its highly original material written by professional physicists and philosophers, it will be understood by upper division undergraduates, graduate students and faculty." C.H. McGruder III, Choice

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    Product details

    • Date Published: June 1997
    • format: Paperback
    • isbn: 9780521599450
    • length: 348 pages
    • dimensions: 244 x 170 x 18 mm
    • weight: 0.56kg
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    Part I. Cosmology and Time's Arrow:
    1. Time, gravity, and quantum mechanics W. Unruh
    2. Cosmology, time's arrow, and that old double standard H. Price
    Part II. Quantum Theory and Time's Arrow:
    3. Time's arrow and the quantum measurement problem A. Leggett
    4. Time, decoherence, and 'reversible' measurements P. Stamp
    5. Time flows, non-locality, and measurement in quantum mechanics S. McCall
    6. Stochastically branching spacetime topology R. Douglas
    Part III. Thermodynamics and Time's Arrow:
    7. The elusive object of desire: in pursuit of the kinetic equations and the second law L. Sklar
    8. Time in experience and in theoretical description of the world L. Sklar
    9. When and why does entropy increase? M. Barrett and E. Sober
    Part IV. Time Travel and Time's Arrow:
    10. Closed causal chains P Horwich
    11. Recent work on time travel J. Earman.

  • Editor

    Steven F. Savitt, University of British Columbia, Vancouver


    M. Barrett, R. Douglas, J. Earman, P. Horwich, A. J. Leggett, S. McCall, H. Price, S. Savitt, L. Sklar, E. Sober, P. Stamp, W. G. Unruh

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