The Physicist and the Philosopher

Einstein, Bergson, and the Debate That Changed Our Understanding of Time

Author: Jimena Canales

Publisher: Princeton University Press

ISBN: 0691173176

Category: Philosophy

Page: 488

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The explosive debate that transformed our views about time and scientific truth On April 6, 1922, in Paris, Albert Einstein and Henri Bergson publicly debated the nature of time. Einstein considered Bergson's theory of time to be a soft, psychological notion, irreconcilable with the quantitative realities of physics. Bergson, who gained fame as a philosopher by arguing that time should not be understood exclusively through the lens of science, criticized Einstein's theory of time for being a metaphysics grafted on to science, one that ignored the intuitive aspects of time. The Physicist and the Philosopher tells the remarkable story of how this explosive debate transformed our understanding of time and drove a rift between science and the humanities that persists today. Jimena Canales introduces readers to the revolutionary ideas of Einstein and Bergson, describes how they dramatically collided in Paris, and traces how this clash of worldviews reverberated across the twentieth century. She shows how it provoked responses from figures such as Bertrand Russell and Martin Heidegger, and carried repercussions for American pragmatism, logical positivism, phenomenology, and quantum mechanics. Canales explains how the new technologies of the period—such as wristwatches, radio, and film—helped to shape people’s conceptions of time and further polarized the public debate. She also discusses how Bergson and Einstein, toward the end of their lives, each reflected on his rival’s legacy—Bergson during the Nazi occupation of Paris and Einstein in the context of the first hydrogen bomb explosion. The Physicist and the Philosopher is a magisterial and revealing account that shows how scientific truth was placed on trial in a divided century marked by a new sense of time.
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Bergson and History

Transforming the Modern Regime of Historicity

Author: Leon ter Schure

Publisher: SUNY Press

ISBN: 1438476256

Category: Philosophy

Page: 280

View: 2860

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Explores the philosophy of history of Henri Bergson and shows its relevance to contemporary historical thought. Henri Bergson is famous for his explorations of time as duration, yet he rarely referred to history in his writings. Simultaneously, historians and philosophers of history have generally disregarded Bergson’s ideas about the nature of time. Modernity has brought change at an ever-accelerating rate, and one of the results of this has been a tendency toward presentism. Only the here and now matters, as past and future have been absorbed by the “omnipresent present” of the digital age. In highlighting the role of history in the work of Bergson, Bergson and History shows how his philosophy of life allows us to revise the modern conception of history. Bergson’s philosophy situates history within a broader framework of life as a creative becoming, allowing us to rethink important topics in the study of history, such as historical time, the survival of the past, and historical progress. “Bergson and History is groundbreaking and merits a wide readership in the humanities and social sciences. It is full of fresh and original insights. Ter Schure has read widely and deeply, and there is a productive engagement throughout the book with contemporary resources.” — Keith Ansell-Pearson, author of Bergson: Thinking Beyond the Human Condition
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Teachers and Teaching

Time and the Creative Tension

Author: Kaustuv Roy

Publisher: Springer

ISBN: 3030246701

Category: Education

Page: 211

View: 8142

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Against the backdrop of a historical debate between science and philosophy with regard to the nature of time, this book argues that our commonsense understanding of time is inadequate—especially for education. Teachers’ work is heavily imbued with the effects of clock time, and yet there is another time—duration—which remains out of sight precisely because our sights are filled with temporal things and projections of futurality. The book rests primarily on Henri Bergson’s work on time, and works toward intuition as phenomenological method for the discovery of a creative time in experience.
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Bedeviled

A Shadow History of Demons in Science

Author: Jimena Canales

Publisher: Princeton University Press

ISBN: 0691175322

Category: Science

Page: 392

View: 8810

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How scientists conjure demons to unlock the secrets of the universe Science may be known for banishing the demons of superstition from the modern world. Yet just as the demon-haunted world was being exorcized by the enlightening power of reason, a new kind of demon mischievously materialized in the scientific imagination itself. Scientists began to employ hypothetical beings to perform certain roles in thought experiments--experiments that can only be done in the imagination--and these impish assistants helped scientists achieve major breakthroughs that pushed forward the frontiers of science and technology. Spanning four centuries of discovery--from René Descartes, whose demon could hijack sensorial reality, to James Clerk Maxwell, whose molecular-sized demon deftly broke the second law of thermodynamics, to Darwin, Einstein, Feynman, and beyond--Jimena Canales tells a shadow history of science and the demons that bedevil it. She reveals how the greatest scientific thinkers used demons to explore problems, test the limits of what is possible, and better understand nature. Their imaginary familiars helped unlock the secrets of entropy, heredity, relativity, quantum mechanics, and other scientific wonders--and continue to inspire breakthroughs in the realms of computer science, artificial intelligence, and economics today. The world may no longer be haunted as it once was, but the demons of the scientific imagination are alive and well, continuing to play a vital role in scientists' efforts to explore the unknown and make the impossible real.
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A Theory of Everything (That Matters)

A Short Guide to Einstein, Relativity and the Future of Faith

Author: Alister McGrath

Publisher: Hachette UK

ISBN: 1529377978

Category: Religion

Page: 192

View: 2421

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On 29th May 1919, British astronomers tested Einstein's theory of relativity by measuring the path of the stars travelling near the sun during an eclipse. On 7th November 1919, the results of that experiment were announced in London, proving Einstein's theory of relativity. A Theory of Everything (that Matters) has been written in celebration of this 100th anniversary. With the confirmation of Einstein's theories at the beginning of the twentieth century, our understanding of the universe became much more complex. What does this mean for religious belief, and specifically Christianity? Does it mean, as so many people assume, the death of God? In A Theory of Everything (that Matters) Alister McGrath - Professor of Science and Religion at Oxford University - explores these questions, giving an overview of Einstein's thought and scientific theories, including his nuanced thinking on the difference between the scientific enterprise and beliefs outside its realm. This groundbreaking book is for anyone intrigued by Einstein as one of the twentieth century's most iconic figures, who wants to know what his theories mean for religion, and who is interested in the conversation between science and religions more broadly. 'An excellent study of Einstein's theories in relation to his beliefs about God' - starred review in PUBLISHERS WEEKLY
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Time & the Instant

Essays in the Physics and Philosophy of Time

Author: Robin Durie

Publisher: Clinamen PressLtd

ISBN: N.A

Category: Science

Page: 249

View: 5390

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Debating the nature of time, this collection of essays includes both the physicist's and the philosopher's viewpoint, questioning whether time exists, whether it is absolute or relative and whether it is continuous or fragmented.
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Arts & Humanities Citation Index

Author: N.A

Publisher: N.A

ISBN: N.A

Category: Arts

Page: N.A

View: 9377

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A multidisciplinary index covering the journal literature of the arts and humanities. It fully covers 1,144 of the world's leading arts and humanities journals, and it indexes individually selected, relevant items from over 6,800 major science and social science journals.
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