By Max Jammer
Max Jammer's Concepts of Simultaneity provides a accomplished, obtainable account of the old improvement of a big and arguable concept—which performed a severe function in starting up glossy theoretical physics—from the times of Egyptian hieroglyphs via to Einstein's paintings in 1905, and past. starting with using the idea that of simultaneity in historical Egypt and within the Bible, the learn discusses its position in Greek and medieval philosophy in addition to its value in Newtonian physics and within the rules of Leibniz, Kant, and different classical philosophers. The relevant topic of Jammer's presentation is a severe research of using this idea via philosophers of technological know-how, like Poincaré, and its major function in inaugurating glossy theoretical physics in Einstein's distinctive conception of relativity. specific cognizance is paid to the philosophical challenge of no matter if the thought of far away simultaneity provides a real truth or just a hypothetical conference. The research concludes with an research of simultaneity's significance more often than not relativity and quantum mechanics.
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Extra info for Concepts of Simultaneity: From Antiquity to Einstein and Beyond
Diels, Die Fragmente der Vorsokratiker (Berlin: Weidmannsche Verlagsbuchhandlung, 1956), vol. 2, p. 203; K. Freeman, Ancilla to the Pre-Socratic Philosophers (Oxford: Blackwell, 1956), p. 117. 19 B. Russell, Our Knowledge of the External World (London: George Allen & Unwin, 1926), p. 183. 24 Concepts of Simultaneity Not surprisingly, therefore, Zeno’s four arguments became the subject of numerous critical commentaries,20 but their implicit, yet crucial dependence on the notion of simultaneity has hardly, if ever, been recognized or noted by their commentators.
Plato’s ontology acknowledged not only the existence of a world of immutable and timeless Forms or Ideas, as they exist for example in mathematics, each of which has the characteristics of Parmenides’ “Being,” but also a world of impermanent sensible things that are patterned after their Forms. Thus, time is deﬁned as the image of eternity. The question of how things partake of their ideas was a central topic in Plato’s dialogue Parmenides. ” “No,” is the objection, “for it [the 45 M. ” Archiv für Geschichte der Philosophie 52, 113–135 (1970) (emphasis added).
The absence of speciﬁc terms for the concept of simultaneity in ancient languages should come as no surprise. Distant simultaneity as we understand it today, especially in physics, is a notion that was hardly needed when time was measured by sundials, hourglasses, or clepsydras and when communication was transmitted by messengers or bonﬁres. Moreover, those clocks were used primarily to tell how long a process lasted rather than when it occurred. Indeed, reviewing the whole history of science in antiquity, we recognize that 4 S.