What Makes Time Special?

What Makes Time Special?

4 (1 rating by Goodreads)
By (author) 

Free delivery worldwide

Available. Dispatched from the UK in 2 business days
When will my order arrive?

Description

As we navigate through life we instinctively model time as having a flowing present that divides a fixed past from open future. This model develops in childhood and is deeply saturated within our language, thought and behavior, affecting our conceptions of the universe, freedom and the self. Yet as central as it is to our lives, physics seems to have no room for this flowing present. What Makes Time Special? demonstrates this claim in detail and then turns
to two novel positive tasks. First, by looking at the world "sideways" - in the spatial directions - it shows that physics is not "spatializing time" as is commonly alleged. Even relativity theory makes significant distinctions between the spacelike and timelike directions, often with surprising consequences.
Second, if the flowing present is an illusion, it is a deep one worthy of explanation. The author develops a picture whereby the temporal flow arises as an interaction effect between an observer and the physics of the world.

Using insights from philosophy, cognitive science, biology, psychology and physics, the theory claims that the flowing present model of time is the natural reaction to the perceptual and evolutionary challenges thrown at us. Modeling time as flowing makes sense even if it misrepresents it.
show more

Product details

  • Hardback | 368 pages
  • 162 x 241 x 26mm | 676g
  • Oxford, United Kingdom
  • English
  • 0198797303
  • 9780198797302
  • 518,172

Table of contents

1: The Problem of Time
2: Lost Time: Relativity Theory
3: Tearing Spacetime Asunder
4: Quantum Becoming?
5: Intimations of Quantum Gravitational Time
6: The Differences Between Time and Space
7: Laws, Systems, and Time
8: Looking at the World Sideways
9: Do We Experience the Present?
10: Stuck in the Common Now
11: The Flow of Time: Stitching the World Together
12: Explaining the Temporal Value Asymmetry
13: Moving Past the ABCs of Time
14: Putting It All Together
show more

Review Text

Without question, I am extremely enthusiastic about Callender's book. It is bursting at the seams with insight and ingenuity. It is written with great clarity and flow, traversing complex, advanced material with the ease of a true master. What Makes Time Special? is a seminal contribution to the field, comparable to classics such as D. H. Mellor's Real Time and Paul Horwich's Asymmetries in Time. It is an engaging and exciting piece of scientific philosophy that will stand the test of time. Anyone interested in the issues it addresses should read it. M. Joshua Mozersky, Metascience
show more

Review quote

'Time is a big invisible thing that will kill you' (p. 1). I cannot think of a more striking opening sentence to a work of philosophy in recent times - or at any time, for that matter. What follows is a comprehensive tour of philosophy of time from Callender's perspective, written with great insight, as well as wit and flair. ... Callender has written a survey of issues in philosophy of time from a broadly naturalistic perspective. It is rich in detail and argument.
... Anyone interested in understanding time will be rewarded by further digging. * Steven F. Savitt, British Journal for the Philosophy of Science * This is a golden age for the philosophy of time. ... Callender's book is a novel and engaging contribution to this positive development, driven by a desire to understand the emergence of "manifest time" from a physical world initially hostile to it, with the help of disciplines as different as hard-core theoretical physics and experimental psychology (and much in-between). ... I wholeheartedly recommend his new book to everyone interested in time and its puzzles. * Yuri Balashov, Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews * [A]mbitious and highly original contribution to the philosophy of time ... displays nothing short of profound insight into the way physics informs old debates about time ... densely-argued, fascinating treatment of the problem of time, that breaks new ground ... will be compulsory reading for anyone interested in the topic [of time], not just philosophers of physics * Comments from selectors of the 2018 Lakatos Award * Without question, I am extremely enthusiastic about Callender's book. It is bursting at the seams with insight and ingenuity. It is written with great clarity and flow, traversing complex, advanced material with the ease of a true master. What Makes Time Special? is a seminal contribution to the field, comparable to classics such as D. H. Mellor's Real Time and Paul Horwich's Asymmetries in Time. It is an engaging and exciting piece of
scientific philosophy that will stand the test of time. Anyone interested in the issues it addresses should read it. * M. Joshua Mozersky, Metascience *
show more

About Craig Callender

Craig Callender earned his PhD with research on the direction of time at Rutgers University. He then worked at the London School of Economics before moving to the University of California, San Diego. He has interests in time and physics, the interpretation of quantum mechanics, quantum gravity, philosophy of science, and environmental ethics. He is editor of the Oxford Handbook of Philosophy of Time (2011).
show more

Rating details

1 rating
4 out of 5 stars
5 0% (0)
4 100% (1)
3 0% (0)
2 0% (0)
1 0% (0)
Book ratings by Goodreads
Goodreads is the world's largest site for readers with over 50 million reviews. We're featuring millions of their reader ratings on our book pages to help you find your new favourite book. Close X