David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Ezio Di Nucci
Jack Alan Reynolds
Learn more about PhilPapers
Philosophical Psychology 25 (4):1-16 (2011)
Special relativity insists that the speed of light in a vacuum is constant for all inertial observers. This is often said to be counterintuitive: why should light alone, among all things in the world, return the same speed value to all inertial observers, regardless of their different states of motion? I argue that this question or puzzle arises because physics misconstrues light by characterizing it as a freestanding phenomenon. As James Gibson insisted, and as any analysis of the visual experience makes plain, light, the agency of sight, cannot be overtaken by sight. A better characterization of light is Gibson's optic array, which prompts the realization that our prior complicity with light keeps us from getting leverage on it as a freestanding phenomenon, and this is why it returns the same speed value to all observers. To show the limitation of freestanding light, I offer two derivations of relativistic time dilation. The first imagines freestanding light and then, to complete the derivation, artificially requires light speed constancy; the second achieves the same result in a fully natural way?that is, without putting observers in an abstract, arguably impossible, situation?by merely attending to the seeing experience
|Keywords||No keywords specified (fix it)|
|Categories||categorize this paper)|
Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
|Through your library|
References found in this work BETA
William James (1890/1981). The Principles of Psychology. Dover Publications.
Maurice Merleau-Ponty (1968). The Visible and the Invisible. Northwestern University Press.
David Deutsch (1997). The Fabric of Reality. Allan Lane.
John T. Sanders (1993). Merleau-Ponty, Gibson and the Materiality of Meaning. Man and World 26 (3):287-302.
Citations of this work BETA
No citations found.
Similar books and articles
Harvey R. Brown & Adolfo Maia Jr (1993). Light-Speed Constancy Versus Light-Speed Invariance in the Derivation of Relativistic Kinematics. British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 44 (3):381-407.
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.
David Grandy (2002). Light as a Solution to Puzzles Aboutlight. Journal for General Philosophy of Science / Zeitschrift für Allgemeine Wissenschaftstheorie 33 (2):369-379.
Narendra Katkar (2011). 'Speed of Light -A Fundamental Retrospection to Prospection'. Journal of American Science 7 (5):16.
Brent Mundy (1983). Derivation of the Lorentz Transformations From the Constancy of the Speed of Light. Philosophical Studies 44 (3):291-303.
Glen Monahan & Sarvraj Singh (2013). Interstellar Transmitter Concept (King David’s Sling). American Journal of Modern Physics 2 (3):138-143.
Irving F. Laucks (1959). Was Newton Right After All? Philosophy of Science 26 (3):229-239.
Arthur S. Otis (1963). Light Velocity and Relativity. [Yonkers-on-Hudson, N.Y.,C.E. Burckel.
John A. Winnie (1970). Special Relativity Without One-Way Velocity Assumptions: Part II. Philosophy of Science 37 (2):223-238.
John A. Winnie (1970). Special Relativity Without One-Way Velocity Assumptions: Part I. Philosophy of Science 37 (1):81-99.
Alan Macdonald (1983). Clock Synchronization, a Universal Light Speed, and the Terrestrial Redshift Experiment. American Journal of Pyysics 51:795-797.
Added to index2011-10-20
Total downloads20 ( #176,896 of 1,789,932 )
Recent downloads (6 months)1 ( #423,018 of 1,789,932 )
How can I increase my downloads?