The Reign of Relativity

The Reign of Relativity : Philosophy in Physics 1915-1925

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Einstein's theory of 'general relativity' (1915) was a defining event for 20th century philosophy of science. During the decisive first ten years of the theory's existence, two main ideas dominated its philosophical reception. Ryckman's book is an extended argument that the path actually taken, which became the philosophy of logical empiricism, greatly contributed to the current impasse over scientific realism - whereas new possibilities are opened up in reviving the spirit of the more sophisticated strain, termed transcendental idealism. It also emerges that Einstein, while paying lip service to the former, ended up actually siding with the latter. Ryckman's book appeals to several groups, among them: philosophers of science, historians of relativity, and philosophers of physics.
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Product details

  • Hardback | 330 pages
  • 160 x 236.2 x 25.4mm | 612.36g
  • Oxford University Press Inc
  • New York, United States
  • English
  • New
  • numerous mathematical examples
  • 0195177177
  • 9780195177176

Review quote

a treasure of philosophical wisdom and historical information into which everyone who has not delivered his soul to metaphysical realism will do well to delve. * Roberto Torretti, Mind * rich and timely book...Godel's argument is of great interest for the project of developing anew a transcendental idealist foundation for relativity theory such as Ryckman impressively advocates. * Mark van Atten, Husserl Stud *
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About Thomas Ryckman

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.
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