David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
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This is an excellent book, by a very distinguished historian and philosopher of physics. Roberto Torretti is principally known to historians and philosophers of physics through his previous books, Philosophy of Geometry from Riemann to Poincaré (1978), Relativity and Geometry (1983), and Creative Understanding: Philosophical Reflections on Physics (1990). As the first two titles suggest, his forte is the history and philosophy of geometry and spacetime physics, especially from the nineteenth century onwards. These two books were recognized as masterly. Torretti showed an extraordinary command of the many topics in mathematics, physics and the history and philosophy of science that were involved in these studies. In addition to scholarship, he showed strong acuity about philosophical issues; and had a very graceful prose style. The same merits, scientific and historical scholarship, good philosophical judgment, and stylistic grace, were equally in evidence in Creative Understanding; in which Torretti focussed on specifically philosophical topics about how physical theories in general (not just spacetime theories) represent the world.
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