The representation of time from 1700 to the present

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

Abstract

Leibniz influenced the contemporary cosmologists Roger Penrose and Lee Smolin, an influence I trace at the beginning of this chapter, which examines debates over the nature of time in recent centuries. I look at the revision of the concept of time occasioned by 19th c. Thermodynamics, and then Boltzmann’s attempt to reconcile it with Newtonian mechanics: is the arrow of time (so referentially compelling) real, or can it be explained away by an analytic discourse? During the 20th century, in a sense classical General Relativity Theory continued the Newtonian tradition of an analytic, geometrical theory of time, and Quantum Mechanics continued the Leibnizian tradition of a referential theory of time elicited from the dynamical object (molecular, atomic, and subatomic particles); and the dialectic, modified, continues into the current century. I argue that the heterogeneity of the discourses and their complementarity are useful for the advance of science; and that the interesting philosophical question is how the two approaches interact.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationStudies in Applied Philosophy, Epistemology and Rational Ethics
PublisherSpringer International Publishing
Pages127-141
Number of pages15
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 2016

Publication series

NameStudies in Applied Philosophy, Epistemology and Rational Ethics
Volume30
ISSN (Print)2192-6255
ISSN (Electronic)2192-6263

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Philosophy

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    Grosholz, E. R. (2016). The representation of time from 1700 to the present. In Studies in Applied Philosophy, Epistemology and Rational Ethics (pp. 127-141). (Studies in Applied Philosophy, Epistemology and Rational Ethics; Vol. 30). Springer International Publishing. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-46690-3_7