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Special Relativity, Misc

Edited by Virendra Tripathi (University of Nebraska, Lincoln, University of Nebraska, Omaha)
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  1. Fredrik Andersen (2010). Time and Space in Special Relativity a Critique of the Realist Interpretation. Dissertation, University of Tromsø
    In this thesis the author focuses on the metaphysical implications of the realist interpretation of special relativity. The realist interpretation is found wanting in coherence as it utilizes metaphysical concepts (as causation) that are left unjustified if the theory is taken at face value. The author points at a possible re-interpretation of special relativity that allows for a coherent metaphysical basis while containing the mathematical structure of the theory.
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  2. Fredrik Andersen (2010). Time and Space in Special Relativity a Critique of the Realist Interpretation. Dissertation, University of Tromsø
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  3. Hajnal Andréka, Judit X. Madarász, István Németi & Gergely Székely (2012). A Logic Road From Special Relativity to General Relativity. Synthese 186 (3):633 - 649.
    We present a streamlined axiom system of special relativity in first-order logic. From this axiom system we "derive" an axiom system of general relativity in two natural steps. We will also see how the axioms of special relativity transform into those of general relativity. This way we hope to make general relativity more accessible for the non-specialist.
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  4. Mario Bacelar Valente, Einstein’s Physical Geometry at Play: Inertial Motion, the Boostability Assumption, the Lorentz Transformations, and the so-Called Conventionality of the One-Way Speed of Light.
    In this work, Einstein’s view of geometry as physical geometry is taken into account in the analysis of diverse issues related to the notions of inertial motion and inertial reference frame. Einstein’s physical geometry enables a non-conventional view on Euclidean geometry (as the geometry associated to inertial motion and inertial reference frames) and on the uniform time. Also, by taking into account the implications of the view of geometry as a physical geometry, it is presented a critical reassessment of the (...)
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  5. Gordon Belot (2013). Time in Classical and Relativistic Physics. In Adrian Bardon & Heather Dyke (eds.), A Companion to the Philosophy of Time. Blackwell 185-200.
    This is a short, nontechnical introduction to features of time in classical and relativistic physics and their representation in the four-dimensional geometry of spacetime. Topics discussed include: the relativity of simultaneity in special and general relativity; the ‘twin paradox’ and differential aging effects in special and general relativity; and time travel in general relativity.
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  6. Hanoch Ben-Yami (2007). The Impossibility of Backwards Causation. Philosophical Quarterly 57 (228):439–455.
    Dummett and others have failed to show that an effect can precede its cause. Dummett claimed that 'backwards causation' is unproblematic in agentless worlds, and tried to show under what conditions it is rational to believe that even backwards agent-causation occurs. Relying on considerations originating in discussions of special relativity, I show that the latter conditions actually support the view that backwards agent-causation is impossible. I next show that in Dummett's agentless worlds explanation does not necessitate backwards causation. I then (...)
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  7. Marcoen J. T. F. Cabbolet, A 5D Categorical Model of the Elementary Process Theory Incorporating Special Relativity.
    One of the two main issues with the Elementary Process Theory (EPT), a first-order scheme with a speculative interpretation as elementary principles, is that there is thus far no proof that it agrees with existing knowledge. The objective of this paper is to show that the EPT agrees with the knowledge obtained from the successful predictions of Special Relativity (SR). For that matter, the new notion of a `categorical model of the EPT' is introduced: this is a category, whose objects (...)
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  8. Robert K. Clifton (1989). Some Recent Controversy Over the Possibility of Experimentally Determining Isotropy in the Speed of Light. Philosophy of Science 56 (4):688-696.
    The most recent attempt at factually establishing a "true" value for the one-way velocity of light is shown to be faulty. The proposal consists of two round-trip photons travelling first in vacuo and then through a medium of refractive index n before returning to their common point of origin. It is shown that this proposal, as well as a similar one considered by Salmon (1977), presupposes that the one-way velocities of light are equal to the round-trip value. Furthermore, experiments of (...)
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  9. Gordon N. Fleming (2011). Observations on Unstable Quantons, Hyperplane Dependence and Quantum Fields. Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part B 42 (2):136-147.
    There is persistent heterodoxy in the physics literature concerning the proper treatment of those quantons that are unstable against spontaneous decay. Following a brief litany of this heterodoxy, I develop some of the consequences of assuming that such quantons can exist, undecayed and isolated, at definite times and that their treatment can be carried out within a standard quantum theoretic state space. This assumption requires hyperplane dependence for the unstable quanton states and leads to clarification of some recent results concerning (...)
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  10. Gordon N. Fleming, Shirokov's Contracting Lifetimes and the Interpretation of Velocity Eigenstates for Unstable Quantons.
    This paper is concerned with the interpretation of velocity eigenstates for unstable quantons, their relationship to space-like momentum eigenstates for such quantons and the explanation of Shirokov’s contracting lifetimes for such velocity eigenstates. It is an elaboration of a portion of the authors earlier study.
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  11. Gordon N. Fleming (1995). Examining the Compatibility of Special Relativity and Quantum Theory. Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part B 26 (3):325-331.
  12. Michael Friedman (2010). Einstein, Kant, and the A Priori. In Mauricio Suarez, Mauro Dorato & Miklos Redei (eds.), Royal Institute of Philosophy Supplement. Springer 65--73.
    Kant's original version of transcendental philosophy took both Euclidean geometry and the Newtonian laws of motion to be synthetic a priori constitutive principles—which, from Kant's point of view, function as necessary presuppositions for applying our fundamental concepts of space, time, matter, and motion to our sensible experience of the natural world. Although Kant had very good reasons to view the principles in question as having such a constitutively a priori role, we now know, in the wake of Einstein's work, that (...)
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  13. Shan Gao, Three Possible Implications of Spacetime Discreteness.
    We analyze the possible implications of spacetime discreteness for the special and general relativity and quantum theory. It is argued that the existence of a minimum size of spacetime may explain the invariance of the speed of light in special relativity and Einstein’s equivalence principle in general relativity. Moreover, the discreteness of spacetime may also result in the collapse of the wave function in quantum mechanics, which may provide a possible solution to the quantum measurement problem. These interesting results might (...)
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  14. Cody Gilmore (2012). Keep in Touch. Philosophia Naturalis 49 (1):85-111.
    I introduce a puzzle about contact and de re temporal predication in relativistic spacetime. In particular, I describe an apparent counterexample to the following principle, roughly stated: if B is never in a position to say ‘I was touching A, I am touching A, and I will be touching A’, then (time travel aside) A is never in a position to say ‘I was touching B, I am touching B, and I will be touching B’. In the case I present, (...)
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  15. Cody Gilmore (2006). Where in the Relativistic World Are We? Philosophical Perspectives 20 (1):199–236.
    I formulate a theory of persistence in the endurantist family and pose a problem for the conjunction of this theory with orthodox versions of special or general relativity. The problem centers around the question: Where are things?
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  16. Cody Gilmore, Damiano Costa & Claudio Calosi (2016). Relativity and Three Four‐Dimensionalisms. Philosophy Compass 11 (2):102-120.
    Relativity theory is often said to support something called ‘the four-dimensional view of reality’. But there are at least three different views that sometimes go by this name. One is ‘spacetime unitism’, according to which there is a spacetime manifold, and if there are such things as points of space or instants of time, these are just spacetime regions of different sorts: thus space and time are not separate manifolds. A second is the B-theory of time, according to which the (...)
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  17. P. K. H. (1967). Spacetime Physics. [REVIEW] Review of Metaphysics 20 (4):734-735.
  18. Amit Hagar (2014). Discrete or Continuous? The Quest for Fundamental Length in Modern Physics. Cambridge University Press.
    A book on the notion of fundamental length, covering issues in the philosophy of math, metaphysics, and the history and the philosophy of modern physics, from classical electrodynamics to current theories of quantum gravity. Published (2014) in Cambridge University Press.
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  19. Amit Hagar (2013). Review of Tim Maudlin's Philosophy of Physics: Space & Time. [REVIEW] Physics in Perspective (x).
  20. Amit Hagar (2008). Length Matters: The Einstein–Swann Correspondence and the Constructive Approach to the Special Theory of Relativity. Studies in History and Philosophy of Modern Physics 39 (3):532-556.
    I discuss a rarely mentioned correspondence between Einstein and Swann on the constructive approach to the special theory of relativity, in which Einstein points out that the attempts to construct a dynamical explanation of relativistic kinematical effects require postulating a fundamental length scale in the level of the dynamics. I use this correspondence to shed light on several issues under dispute in current philosophy of spacetime that were highlighted recently in Harvey Brown’s monograph Physical Relativity, namely, Einstein’s view on the (...)
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  21. Mohamed Elmansour Hassani, Scrutiny of Einstein’s Causality.
    In the present paper, the so-called Einstein’s causality is scrutinized and proven to be an illusion, a sort of mathematical fiction, and the causality as a well-established universal principle would be absolutely valid for subluminal, luminal and superluminal signals under any natural and/or artificial circumstances. It is also shown that any attempt to apply special relativity theory to superluminality of physical phenomena would be a complete waste of time since this theory has the light speed in vacuum as an upper (...)
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  22. Mateusz Hohol & Paweł Polak (2011). Teoria względności Einsteina na tle rozważań metodologicznych Leona Chwistka. Filozofia Nauki 3 (3):107--125.
    Leon Chwistek (1884-1944) was a Professor of Mathematical Logic at the Lviv University, but also philosopher, theoretician of modern art and avant-garde painter. The present article deals with the reception of Albert Einstein’s special theory of relativity (SR) according to Leon Chwistek. Firstly, Chwistek’s life and philosophical views are presented. Particular attention is paid to the following issues: the theory of the multiplicity of realities, the problem of idealism in the context of philosophy of mathematics and philosophy of science, and (...)
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  23. John-Michael Kuczynski (2016). Time Travel. PHILOSOPHYPEDIA.
    It is clearly stated what time-travel would be, were it possible, and it is thereby shown that the very concept of time-travel is incoherent.
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  24. Alan Macdonald, Special and General Relativity Based on the Physical Meaning of the Spacetime Interval.
    We outline a simple development of special and general relativity based on the physical meaning of the spacetime interval. The Lorentz transformation is not used.
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  25. Alan Macdonald (1983). Clock Synchronization, a Universal Light Speed, and the Terrestrial Redshift Experiment. American Journal of Pyysics 51:795-797.
    This paper (i) gives necessary and sufficient conditions that clocks in an inertial lattice can be synchronized, (ii) shows that these conditions do not imply a universal light speed, and (iii) shows that the terrestrial redshift experiment provides evidence that clocks in a small inertial lattice in a gravitational field can be synchronized.
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  26. Nicholas Maxwell (forthcoming). Relativity Theory May Not Have the Last Word on the Nature of Time: Quantum Theory and Probabilism. In G. Ghirardi & S. Wuppulur (eds.), Space, Time and the Limits of Human Understanding. Springer
    Two radically different views about time are possible. According to the first, the universe is three dimensional. It has a past and a future, but that does not mean it is spread out in time as it is spread out in the three dimensions of space. This view requires that there is an unambiguous, absolute, cosmic-wide "now" at each instant. According to the second view about time, the universe is four dimensional. It is spread out in both space and time (...)
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  27. Nicholas Maxwell (1993). Induction and Scientific Realism: Einstein Versus Van Fraassen Part One: How to Solve the Problem of Induction. British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 44 (1):61-79.
    In this three-part paper, my concern is to expound and defend a conception of science, close to Einstein's, which I call aim-oriented empiricism. I argue that aim-oriented empiricsim has the following virtues. (i) It solve the problem of induction; (ii) it provides decisive reasons for rejecting van Fraassen's brilliantly defended but intuitively implausible constructive empiricism; (iii) it solves the problem of verisimilitude, the problem of explicating what it can mean to speak of scientific progress given that science advances from one (...)
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  28. Nicholas Maxwell (1993). Induction and Scientific Realism: Einstein Versus Van Fraassen Part Three: Einstein, Aim-Oriented Empiricism and the Discovery of Special and General Relativity. British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 44 (2):275-305.
    In this paper I show that Einstein made essential use of aim-oriented empiricism in scientific practice in developing special and general relativity. I conclude by considering to what extent Einstein came explicitly to advocate aim-oriented empiricism in his later years.
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  29. Nicholas Maxwell (1993). On Relativity Theory and Openness of the Future. Philosophy of Science 60 (2):341-348.
    In a recent paper, Howard Stein makes a number of criticisms of an earlier paper of mine ('Are Probabilism and Special Relativity Incompatible?', Phil. Sci., 1985), which explored the question of whether the idea that the future is genuinely 'open' in a probabilistic universe is compatible with special relativity. I disagree with almost all of Stein's criticisms.
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  30. Ettore Minguzzi & Alan Macdonald (2003). Universal One-Way Light Speed From a Universal Light Speed Over Closed Paths. Foundations Of Physics Letters 16:593-604.
    This paper gives two complete and elementary proofs that if the speed of light over closed paths has a universal value c, then it is possible to synchronize clocks in such a way that the one-way speed of light is c. The first proof is an elementary version of a recent proof. The second provides high precision experimental evidence that it is possible to synchronize clocks in such a way that the one-way speed of light has a universal value. We (...)
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  31. John D. Norton (2009). How Hume and Mach Helped Einstein Find Special Relativity. In Michael Friedman, Mary Domski & Michael Dickson (eds.), Discourse on a New Method: Reinvigorating the Marriage of History and Philosophy of Science. Open Court 359--86.
    In recounting his discovery of special relativity, Einstein recalled a debt to the philosophical writings of Hume and Mach. I review the path Einstein took to special relativity and urge that, at a critical juncture, he was aided decisively not by any specific doctrine of space and time, but by a general account of concepts that Einstein found in Hume and Mach’s writings. That account required that concepts, used to represent the physical, must be properly grounded in experience. In so (...)
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  32. Rinat M. Nugayev (2016). The Maxwell-Einstein Upheaval: A Case Study in Kantian Epistemology. American Scientific Journal (pp.100-118).
    The overall aim of the present paper is to unfold the abiding influence of Kantian epistemology on two key figures in physics development – James Maxwell and Albert Einstein. Accordingly, it is exhibited that maxwellian electrodynamics was created as a result of the pre-maxwellian programmes reconciliation: the electrodynamics of Ampére-Weber, the wave theory of Young-Fresnel and the programme of Michael Faraday. The programmes’ meeting entailed the hybrid theory construction at first with an irregular set of theoretical schemes. However, step by (...)
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  33. Rinat M. Nugayev (2014). Mature Scientific Theory Change: Intertheoretic Context. In Vladimir I. Arshinov & Ilya T. Kasavin (eds.), Science and Social Map of the World. Academician V.S.Stepin's Fesrchrift. Alpha 266-279.
    A brief account of epistemological models that try to unfold the intertheoretic context of theory change is proposed. It is stated that all of them has a host of drawbacks, the most salient one being the lack of adequate description of the research traditions interaction process. The epistemological model of mature theory change, eliminating the drawback, is contemplated and illustrated.
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  34. Rinat M. Nugayev (1999). Reconstruction of Mature Theory Change. A Theory-Change Model. Peter Lang.
    A comprehensible model is proposed aimed at an analysis of the reasons for theory change in science. According to the model the origins of scientific revolutions lie not in a clash of fundamental theories with facts, but of “old” fundamental theories with each other, leading to contradictions that can only be eliminated in a more general theory. The model is illustrated with reference to physics in the early 20th century, the three “old” theories in this case being Maxwellian electrodynamics, statistical (...)
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  35. Rinat M. Nugayev (1989). Reconstruction of the Process of Fundamental Theory Change. Kazan University Press.
    What are the reasons for theory change in science? –To give a sober answer a comprehensible model is proposed based on the works of V.P. Bransky, P. Feyerabend , T.S. Kuhn, I. Lakatos, K.R.Popper, V.S. Scwvyrev, Ya. Smorodinsky, V.S. Stepin, and others. According to model the origins of scientific revolutions lie not in a clash of fundamental theories with facts, but of “old” basic research traditions with each other, leading to contradictions that can only be eliminated in a more general (...)
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  36. Akinbo Ojo (2016). Hypotheses Fingo. Booktango.
    Hypotheses Fingo is the culmination of over twenty years of following developments in theoretical physics, enriched with correspondence exchanged with leading names in the field. A postulate and four hypotheses are formulated which remove the infinities afflicting the cosmological singularities of Hawking and Penrose, resolve Zeno's paradoxes of motion and find the elusive elastic solid nature of space that makes it possible for light to be transmitted as transverse waves. Relativity - Special, General and Galilean and that which Isaac Newton (...)
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  37. José Ortega Y. Gasset (1931). The Modern Theme. The C.W. Daniel Company, Ltd..
    Contents: The Modern Theme – Supplemental: The Sunset of Revolution – Epilogue on the Mental Attitude of Disillusion – The Historical Significance of the Theory of Einstein. Translation of 'El tema de nuestro tiempo. El ocaso de las revoluciones, and El sentido histórico de la teoría de Einstein' (1923). "The first part of this book contains a somewhat amplified draft of the lecture with which I began my ordinary university course for the year 1921-22 ... My own interest is centered (...)
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  38. Julio Ostalé García (2002). Ortega y la relatividad especial / Ortega and Special Relativity. El Basilisco: Revista de Filosofía, Ciencias Humanas, Teoría de la Ciencia y de la Cultura 32:89-92.
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  39. Pasha Parpia, Neural Plasticity and the Limits of Scientific Knowledge.
    Western science claims to provide unique, objective information about the world. This is supported by the observation that peoples across cultures will agree upon a common description of the physical world. Further, the use of scientific instruments and mathematics is claimed to enable the objectification of science. In this work, carried out by reviewing the scientific literature, the above claims are disputed systematically by evaluating the definition of physical reality and the scientific method, showing that empiricism relies ultimately upon the (...)
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  40. Lydia Patton (2011). Reconsidering Experiments. Hopos: The Journal of the International Society for the History of Philosophy of Science 1 (2):209-226.
    Experiments may not reveal their full import at the time that they are performed. The scientists who perform them usually are testing a specific hypothesis and quite often have specific expectations limiting the possible inferences that can be drawn from the experiment. Nonetheless, as Hacking has said, experiments have lives of their own. Those lives do not end with the initial report of the results and consequences of the experiment. Going back and rethinking the consequences of the experiment in a (...)
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  41. Oliver Pooley (2013). Substantivalist and Relationalist Approaches to Spacetime. In Robert Batterman (ed.), The Oxford Handbook of Philosophy of Physics. Oxford University Press
    Substantivalists believe that spacetime and its parts are fundamental constituents of reality. Relationalists deny this, claiming that spacetime enjoys only a derivative existence. I begin by describing how the Galilean symmetries of Newtonian physics tell against both Newton's brand of substantivalism and the most obvious relationalist alternative. I then review the obvious substantivalist response to the problem, which is to ditch substantival space for substantival spacetime. The resulting position has many affinities with what are arguably the most natural interpretations of (...)
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  42. Varanasi Ramabrahmam, On Mathematical Constructions of Time and Relativity.
    The mathematical constructions, physical structure and manifestations of physical time are reviewed. The nature of insight and mathematics used to understand and deal with physical time associated with classical, quantum and cosmic processes is contemplated together with a comprehensive understanding of classical time. Scalar time (explicit time or quantitative time), vector time (implicit time or qualitative time), biological time, time of and in conscious awareness are discussed. The mathematical understanding of time in special and general theories of relativity is critically (...)
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  43. Varanasi Ramabrahmam (2013). The Physics and Mathematics of Time and Relativity.
    The nature of time is variously understood and varied expressions of time available are critically discussed. The nature of time formation, its structure and textures are presented taking examples from natural sciences and Indian spirituality. The physics and mathematics used to evolve the concept of time are chronologically presented. The mathematical allusion and physical illusion associated with the concept of theories of relativity are analyzed. The mathematical conjectures responsible for evolution of theories of relativity are pronounced. The missing physical reality (...)
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  44. Varanasi Ramabrahmam (2013). Time and Relativity: The Mathematical Constructions. Time and Relativity Theories.
    The mathematical constructions, physical structure and manifestations of physical time are reviewed. The nature of insight and mathematics used to understand and deal with physical time associated with classical, quantum and cosmic processes is contemplated together with a comprehensive understanding of classical time. Scalar time (explicit time or quantitative time), vector time (implicit time or qualitative time), biological time, time of and in conscious awareness are discussed. The mathematical understanding of time in special and general theories of relativity is critically (...)
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  45. Steven M. Rosen (2015). Why Natural Science Needs Phenomenological Philosophy. Progress in Biophysics and Molecular Biology 119:257-269.
    Through an exploration of theoretical physics, this paper suggests the need for regrounding natural science in phenomenological philosophy. To begin, the philosophical roots of the prevailing scientific paradigm are traced to the thinking of Plato, Descartes, and Newton. The crisis in modern science is then investigated, tracking developments in physics, science's premier discipline. Einsteinian special relativity is interpreted as a response to the threat of discontinuity implied by the Michelson-Morley experiment, a challenge to classical objectivism that Einstein sought to counteract. (...)
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  46. Richard Allen Sieb, Four-Dimensional Consciousness.
    Conscious experience is the direct observation of conscious events. Human conscious experience is four-dimensional. Conscious events are linked (associated) by spacetime intervals to produce a coherent conscious experience. This explains why conscious experience appears to us the way it does. Conscious experience is an orientation in space and time, an understanding of the position of the observer in space and time. Causality, past-future relations, learning, memory, cognitive processing, and goal-directed actions all evolve from four-dimensional conscious experience. A neural correlate for (...)
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  47. Bradford Skow (2009). Relativity and the Moving Spotlight. Journal of Philosophy 106 (12):666-678.
    A standard objection to the moving spotlight theory of time is that it is incompatible with special relativity. I show how to formulate the moving spotlight theory so that it is perfectly compatible with special relativity. There is no need to re-interpret the physics or add to it a notion of absolute simultaneity.
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  48. Bradford Skow (2008). Local and Global Relativity Principles. Philosophers' Imprint 8 (10):1-14.
    Local versions of the (special) principle of relativity say that if the same type of experiment is conducted in two isolated, unaccelerated laboratories, then the outcomes of those experiments must be the same. Global versions of the principle say that if you take a physically possible world and boost the entire material content of that world, you get another physically possible world. Some authors say that the local and the global principles are logically independent, and that the local version is (...)
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