CharlesBarbour argues not only that we can examine the literary and rhetorical aspects of Marx’s texts, but also that, as soon as we begin to do so, those texts begin to take on new and entirely unexpected political implications.
Badiou's philosophy of the 'event' has itself become an event of sorts for contemporary social and political theory. It has broken radically with a set of propositions concerning the operation of power, the status of knowledge, and the possibility of action that were for some time considered nearly unquestionable, in many ways defining what Badiou might call 'the state of the situation'. After briefly outlining the manner in which Badiou's reinvigoration of the concept of 'truth' constitutes a serious challenge for (...) the politics of difference and the ethics of alterity, this paper explores the significance for educational philosophy of what, borrowing from Jacques Rancière, Badiou calls the 'axiom of equality', or the notion that, in democratic politics, 'equality must be postulated not willed '. I suggest that this axiom is best understood when read in relation to Rancière's The Ignorant Schoolmaster , and thus explore an intrinsic link between Badiou's more obscure philosophical claims and political assertions on the one hand, and the question of education on the other. I further propose that the limitations of Badiou's criticism of Rancière's work, which suggests that he stops short of locating an effective political subject who might oppose the parliamentary state, are revealed most explicitly when we reassess Rancière's approach to education in The Ignorant Schoolmaster , and in his more recent work on political aesthetics. Ultimately, however, I conclude that a truly democratic approach to education will have to learn from both Badiou and Rancière, and take seriously the 'axiom of equality'. (shrink)
It is suggested, following a proposal made recently by Smolin, that the most fundamental law of the universe takes this form: Among the set of all possible universes compatible with an irreducibly minimal set of structural constraints, the actually realized universe is the one which maximizes a mathematically well-defined number (the variety) that measures the structural variety of the universe (in the totality of its history). This gives expression to Leibniz's idea that the actual universe gives “the greatest variety possible, (...) but with the greatest possible order.” Two models are proposed in which the idea can be realized and its consequences tested; both are discrete in nature and satisfy highly nonlocal laws. In such a scheme a unique (finite) universe is called into being by the fundamental requirement of maximal variety (for given definition of the variety), which it is conjectured could have such a powerful ordering effect that space, time, the currently known laws of physics, and the observed structure of the universe could all appear as emergent consequences of the single underlying law. (shrink)
This article provides a critical evaluation of Ben Golder’s and Peter Fitzpatrick’s recent Foucault’s Law, which it characterizes as a decisive intervention into both legal theory and Foucault scholarship. It argues in favour of Golder’s and Fitzpatrick’s effort to affirm the multiplicity of Foucault’s work, rather than treat that work as either unified by a consistent position or broken into a series of relatively stable periods. But it also argues against Golder’s and Fitzpatrick’s analysis of Foucault’s understanding of the law (...) through a conceptual framework borrowed from Derrida, and especially Derrida’s distinction between law and justice. It shows how this approach to reading Foucault effectively transforms some of his more powerful criticisms of the law into defences of justice. In place of this interpretation, the second half of this paper initiates a reading of Foucault’s later work on ethics and the self in the ancient world. It develops the theme of an ethics, or a way of life, that takes shape at a distance from politics on the one side and law on the other. (shrink)
. A brief comparison of the Zygon Center for Religion and Science and the Center for Theology and the Natural Sciences is given. The work and emphases of the two Centers overlap but also differ in significant ways. Without neglecting the physical sciences or the Christian tradition, ZCRS would do well to continue to give high priority to the biological sciences and the dialogue with the major world religions.
In a brief comment in ‘History of the Lie’, his one sustained engagement with Arendt, Derrida criticizes the ‘absence’ of any reference to the ‘problematic of testimony, witnessing, or bearing witness’ in her work, and asserts that she was ‘not interested’ in what ‘distinguishes’ testimony from ‘proof’. This passage links Derrida’s reading of Arendt to a theme that concerns him throughout his later work, specifically the ‘affirmation’ or ‘act of faith’ that ostensibly conditions all human relations, and the possibility of (...) sociality in general. In this article, I claim not only that Arendt did address the problem of testimony or witnessing, and the difference between bearing witness and establishing proof, but also that her consideration of these issues represents an alternative to many of the arguments Derrida develops in his later work, especially his approach to responsibility and judgment, secrecy and memory, and the relation between the self and others. (shrink)
Relatively congruence regular quasivarieties and quasivarieties of logic have noticeable similarities. The paper provides a unifying framework for them which extends the Blok-Pigozzi theory of elementarily algebraizable (and protoalgebraic) deductive systems. In this extension there are two parameters: a set of terms and a variable. When the former is empty or consists of theorems, the Blok-Pigozzi theory is recovered, and the variable is redundant. On the other hand, a class of membership logics is obtained when the variable is the only (...) element of the set of terms. For these systems the appropriate variant of equivalent algebraic semantics encompasses the relatively congruence regular quasivarieties. (shrink)
Two definitions of Mach’s principle are proposed. Both are related to gauge theory, are universal in scope and amount to formulations of causality that take into account the relational nature of position, time, and size. One of them leads directly to general relativity and may have relevance to the problem of creating a quantum theory of gravity.
This is the first volume in the four-volume edition of The Works of Lucy Hutchinson, the first-ever collected edition of the writings of the pioneering author and translator. Hutchinson (1620-81) had a remarkable range of her interests, from Latin poetry to Civil War politics and theology. This edition of her translation of Lucretius's De rerum natura offers new biographical material, demonstrating the changes and unexpected continuities in Hutchinson's life between the work's composition in the 1650s and its dedication in 1675. (...) Hers is the first complete surviving English translation of one of the great classical epics, a challenging text at the borderlines of poetry and philosophy. For the first time, the Lucretius translation is made available alongside the Latin text Hutchinson used, which differs in innumerable ways from versions known today. The commentary provides multiple ways into further understanding of the translation and its contexts. Written at a momentous period in political and literary history, Hutchinson's Lucretius throws light on the complex transition between 'ancient' and 'modern' conceptions of the classical canon and of natural philosophy. It offers a case study in the history of reading, and more specifically of reading by a woman. Through close comparison with three contemporary translations, this edition situates Hutchinson's version in the context of the shifting poetic languages of the seventeenth century, and facilitates an approach to Lucretius' often rebarbative Latin. It further demonstrates the remarkable ways in which Hutchinson's engagement with this 'atheistical' poem leaves deep traces on her later, militantly Calvinist prose and verse. (shrink)
Machine generated contents note: Notes on Contributors. -- Foreword (Michael A. Peters). -- Introduction: Alain Badiou: 'Becoming subject' to education (Kent den Heyer). -- 1. Badiou, Pedagogy and the Arts (Thomas E. Peterson). -- 2. Badiou's Challenge to Art and its Education: Or, 'art cannot be taught--it can however educate!' (Jan Jagodzinski). -- 3. Alain Badiou, Jacques Lacan and the Ethics of Teaching (Peter M. Taubman). -- 4. Reconceptualizing Professional Development for Curriculum Leadership: Inspired by John Dewey and informed by (...) Alain Badiou (Kathleen R. Kesson and James G. Henderson). -- 5. The Obliteration of Truth by Management: Badiou, St. Paul and the question of economic managerialism in education (Anna Strhan). -- 6. Militants of Truth, Communities of Equality: Badiou and the ignorant schoolmaster (Charles Andrew Barbour). -- Index. (shrink)
Abstract Despite various criticisms, Ian Barbour's fourfold classification of the possible relationships between religion and science remains influential. I compare Barbour's taxonomy with the theories of four authors who, in the last four decades, have addressed the relationship between science and religion from a Muslim perspective. The aim of my analysis is twofold. First, I offer a comparative perspective to the debate on science and Islam. Second, following Barbour's suggestion, I test the general applicability of his categories (...) by comparing them with a discourse on science and religion that is not focused on Christianity. In the first section, I reconstruct Barbour's typologies, recalling some major objections to them, and arguing why despite the latter, Barbour's model is employed for the present analysis. I also reconstruct Barbour's parallel model for the relationships between different religions. In the second section, I reconstruct the discourse on science and religion developed by the Palestinian-American scholar Ismail Raji al-Faruqi. The third section is devoted to the ideas of the Persian-American scholar Seyyed Hossein Nasr. In the fourth section, I examine the views of the Iranian author Mehdi Golshani. The fifth section reconstructs the theories of the Algerian author Nidhal Guessoum. In the final section, I argue that a generalized use of the “integration” concept to refer to the entire debate on Islam and science is unhelpful. While these positions do not appear to instantiate Barbourian integration of science and religion, they do move toward what Barbour (skeptically) describes as integration between religions. (shrink)
Julian Barbour's approach to dynamics is reviewed. With a particular focus on questions of explanation and confirmation, the approach is contrasted with standard formulations of dynamics. This paper expands upon my commentary on Lawrence Sklar's paper at the Philosophy of Time Society meeting at the APA's Central Division meeting in Chicago, April 2004. Although a commentary, the current paper is comprehensible without reference to Sklar's paper.
Abstract: I argue that for psychological and social reasons, the traditional “Conflict Model” of science and religion interactions has such a strong hold on the nonexpert imagination that counterexamples and claims that interactions are simply more complex than the model allows are inadequate to undermine its power. Taxonomies, such as those of Ian Barbour and John Haught, which characterize conflict as only one among several possible relationships, help. But these taxonomies, by themselves, fail to offer an account of why (...) different relationships prevail among different communities and how they succeed one another within particular communities—that is, they contain no dynamic elements. To undermine the power of the “Conflict Model,” we should be seeking to offer alternative models for science and religion interactions that can both incorporate the range of stances articulated by scholars like Barbour and which can offer an account of the process by which differing attitudes succeed one another. As a step toward this goal, I propose a general “interacting subcultures model” and illustrate its applicability in a small number of mini-case studies from Early Modern Britain and France and with glances toward contemporary America. (shrink)
Ian Barbour sees four ways to relate science and religion: (1) conflict, (2) disjunction or independence, (3) dialogue, and (4) synthesis or integration. David Burrell posits three ways to construe religious language, as (a) univocal, (b) equivocal, or (c) analogous. The paper contends that Barbour’s (1) and (4) presuppose Burrell’s (a), Barbour's (2) presupposes Burrell’s (b), and Barbour’s (3) presupposes Burrell’s (c), and it explores some of the implications for each alternative.
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 (now) 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 special and general relativity. I move on to consider and reject two recent antisubstantivalist lines of thought. The interim conclusion is that the best argument for relationalism is an appeal to Ockham's razor. However, for this to be successful there must be genuine relationalist theories that share the theoretical virtues of their substantivalist rivals but without the additional ontological commitment. The bulk of the paper is therefore an investigation of various concrete relationalist proposals. I distinguish three options for the relationalist in the face of the success of Galilean invariant physics and trace how these generalise to relativistic physics. One of the options (Barbour's Machian approach to dynamics) is particularly promising but, since its basic objects end up being spacetime points, this does not help the prospects of relationalism as traditionally conceived. I end with some reflections on the fate of substantivalism in the aftermath of the Hole Argument, concluding that we have as yet to be given good reasons to abandon the natural, substantivalist interpretation of current physics. (shrink)
1. Introduction: The problems of time and consciousness What is time? St. Augustine remarked that when no one asked him, he knew what time was; however when someone asked him, he did not. Is time a process which flows? Is time a dimension in which processes occur? Does time actually exist? The notion that time is a process which "flows" directionally may be illusory (the "myth of passage") for if time did flow it would do so in some medium or (...) vessel (e.g. minutes per what?) . But if time is a dimension in which processes occurred, e.g. as one component of a 4 dimensional spacetime, then why would processes occur unidirectionally in time? Yet we perceive time as an orderly, unidirectional process. An alternative explanation is that time does not exist as either a process or dimension, but that reality is a collage of discrete, disconnected and haphazardly arranged configurations of the universe, e.g. as described in Julian Barbour's "The end of time" . In this view our perception of a unidirectional flow of time occurs because each moment, or "Now" as Barbour terms them, involves memory of other conceptually relevant moments, and the orderly flow of time is an illusion. Barbour's deconstruction of time contrasts the Newtonian reality of objects moving deterministically through 4 dimensional spacetime. Newton's contemporary (and rival) Leibniz  viewed the world in a manner consistent with Barbour (and with Mach's principle that the spatiotemporal structure of the universe is dependent on the distribution of mass, a foundation of Einstein's general relativity). According to Leibniz the world is to be understood not as matter/mass moving in a framework of space and time, but of more fundamental snapshot-like entities that momentarily fuse space and matter into single possible arrangements or configurations of the entire universe. Such configurations, which can be fabulously rich and complex considering the vastness of the universe, are the ultimate "things" of reality, which Leibniz termed "monads".. (shrink)
The implications for the substantivalist–relationalist controversy of Barbour and Bertotti's successful implementation of a Machian approach to dynamics are investigated. It is argued that in the context of Newtonian mechanics, the Machian framework provides a genuinely relational interpretation of dynamics and that it is more explanatory than the conventional, substantival interpretation. In a companion paper (Pooley [2002a]), the viability of the Machian framework as an interpretation of relativistic physics is explored. 1 Introduction 2 Newton versus Leibniz 3 Absolute space (...) versus an affine connection 4 Anti-relationalist arguments 5 Rehabilitating relationalism 6 Dynamics on the relative configuration space 7 Intrinsic particle dynamics 8 Conclusion. (shrink)
In a companion paper (Pooley & Brown 2001) it is argued that Julian Barbour's Machian approach to dynamics provides a genuinely relational interpretation of Newtonian dynamics and that it is more explanatory than the conventional, substantival interpretation. In this paper the extension of the approach to relativistic physics is considered. General relativity, it turns out, can be reinterpreted as a perfectly Machian theory. However, there are difficulties with viewing the Machian interpretation as more fundamental than the conventional, spacetime interpretation. (...) Moreover, this state of affairs provides little solace for the relationist for, even when interpreted along Machian lines, general relativity is a substantival theory although the basic entity is space, not spacetime. (shrink)
This paper addresses the extent to which both Julian Barbour‘s Machian formulation of general relativity and his interpretation of canonical quantum gravity can be called timeless. We differentiate two types of timelessness in Barbour‘s (1994a, 1994b and 1999c). We argue that Barbour‘s metaphysical contention that ours is a timeless world is crucially lacking an account of the essential features of time—an account of what features our world would need to have if it were to count as being (...) one in which there is time. We attempt to provide such an account through considerations of both the representation of time in physical theory and in orthodox metaphysical analyses. We subsequently argue that Barbour‘s claim of timelessness is dubious with respect to his Machian formulation of general relativity but warranted with respect to his interpretation of canonical quantum gravity. We conclude by discussing the extent to which we should be concerned by the implications of Barbour‘s view. (shrink)
I discuss Julian Barbour's Machian theories of dynamics, and his proposal that a Machian perspective enables one to solve the problem of time in quantum geometrodynamics (by saying that there is no time!). I concentrate on his recent book, The End of Time (1999). A shortened version will appear in The British Journal for Philosophy of Science}.
I'm scarcely the only reader who has found it puzzling that the self-consistent author of the Meditations, with his firm faith that God has supplied us with clear and distinct ideas sufficient to understand the material world, could have been satisfied with the messy jumble of physical doctrine we seem to find in his ~Priuci les. For example, although Descartes seems to be committed to a relationalism of some sort, his notorious laws of impact look as if they blatantly rely (...) upon an absolute compass of inertia, leading Julian Barbour to complain that Descartes' relationalism is but "froth on the surface of a deep underlying absolutism" (Barbour 1989 p. 600) (by "compass of inertia", I mean "a method of guidance lodged in an absolute background space or spacetime"). (shrink)
This review of Julian Barbour's The End of Time () discusses his Machian theories of dynamics, and his proposal that a Machian perspective enables one to solve the problem of time in quantum geometrodynamics, viz. by saying that there is no time! 1 Introduction 2 Machian themes in classical physics 2.1 The status quo 2.2 Machianism 2.2.1 The temporal metric as emergent 2.2.2 Machian theories 2.2.3 Assessing intrinsic dynamics 3 The end of time? 3.1 Time unreal? The classical case (...) 3.1.1 Spontaneity 3.1.2 Barbour's vision: time capsules 3.2 Evidence from quantum physics? 3.2.1 Mott scattering as a model for time capsules 3.2.2 Solving the problem of time? (shrink)
The purpose of this paper is to pick up the threads of a debate about the ontology of becoming in spacetime that was triggered by a provocative article published by Nicholas Maxwell in 1985. This debate is itself merely a recent episode in a long dialogue that goes back at least as far as the time of Parmenides and Heraclitus (Savitt 2001). Here is the question around which this debate centres: is change or becoming the distinguishing feature of the (...) natural or physical world, as suggested obscurely by Heraclitus and argued at length by Aristotle? (See Robinson 1987, Furley 1967, and Aristotle’s Physics, in, e.g., McKeon 1941.) Or is our usual uncritical belief in the reality of change the product of some sort of perceptual illusion or intellectual error, as believed by Parmenides and a small host of recent authors such as Gödel (1949) and Julian Barbour (2002)? I won’t be able to solve the whole of this momentous problem here. However, I intend both to set aside a few unwarranted assumptions which have for a long time dogged our thinking about the puzzle of becoming, and to assemble some tools which should aid in finding a solution to it. In particular, I will argue that we can do much better than is usually supposed in identifying structures which can both “live” within Minkowski spacetime and represent objective becoming. I shall also discuss whether such structures would necessarily contradict the Principle.. (shrink)
The paper explores the question of the relationship between science and religion today in light of its modern origin in the Galileo affair. After first presenting Ian Barbour’s four standard models for the possible relationships between science and religion, it then draws on the work of Richard Blackwell and Ernan McMullin to consider the Augustinian principles at work in Galileo’s understanding of science and religion. In light of this the paper proposes a fifth, hybrid model, “dialogical convergence,” as a (...) more adequate model of the relationship in-between science and religion because it is epistemically just in its coherence with the last fifty years of philosophy of science by which it affords more than the mere tolerance of an independence view which leaves no space for the possibility of a theological understanding of nature. (shrink)
“The Will to Believe” defines the religious question as forced, living and momentous, but even in this article James asserts that more objective factors are involved. The competing religious hypotheses must both be equally coherent and correspond to experimental data to an equal degree. Otherwise the option is not a live one. “If I say to you ‘Be a theosophist or be a Mohammedan’, it is probably a dead option, because for you neither hypothesis is likely to be alive.” James, (...) WB, p. 3. Analogously, in A Pluralistic Universe James is at pains to convince the reader that his own religious hypothesis is just as “objective,” makes just as much sense, etc. as alternative possibilities: the “only thing I emphatically insist upon is that it [pluralistic pantheism] is a fully coordinate hypothesis with monism. This world may, in the last resort, be a block universe; but on the other hand, it may be a universe only strung along, not rounded in and closed. Reality may exist distributively just as it sensibly seems to, after all. On that possibility I do insist.”William James, A Pluralistic Universe (New York: Longmans, Green, and Co., 1909) p. 328.Here, once again, before the will to believe can be employed, the objective factors of competing hypotheses, their equal coherence and correspondence, must be brought out.When reconstructed, James' overall outlook has a “qausi Kuhnian” taint to it- though obvious differences remain. Much of what goes on in evaluating competing scientific hypotheses is either not forced, or not living, or not momentous, but rather “typical,” “dead,” and “avoidable,” in short very “normal.” But there are moments in the history of science where the decision between hypotheses might well be forced, living and momentous, and sometimes James comes close to recognizing this.Analogously, a good deal of what goes on in religion is not forced, not living or not momentous - in short it is all too “normal”. In The Varieties of Religious Experience for example, James proposes to ignore the institutional branch of the religious domain and to concentrate on personal and psychological factors, his reason being that the institutional aspect concentrates on the routine, the normal. “Worship and sacrifice, procedures for working on the dispositions of the deity, theology and ceremony and ecclesiastical organization, are the essentials of religion in the institutional branch. Were we to limit our view to it, we should have to define religion as an external art, the art of winning the favor of the gods.” James, VRE, p. 29. and again “The word ‘religion,’ as ordinarily used, is equivocal. A survey of history shows us that, as a rule, religious geniuses attract disciples, and produce groups of sympathizers. When these groups get strong enough to ‘organize’ themselves, they become ecclesiastical institutions with corporate ambitions of their own. The spirit of politics and the lust of dogmatic rule are then apt to enter and to contaminate the originally innocent thing; so that when we hear the word ‘religion’ nowadays, we think inevitably of some ‘church’ or other.” Clearly here religion has a normal, i.e. trivial side, just as does science. On the other hand, there are revolutionary moments in religion, such as that of choosing between theism and materialism in Pragmatism, or choosing among theism, monistic pantheism and pluralistic pantheism in A Pluralistic Universe. Such moments involve the will to believe and are clearly more personal than their counterparts in the domain of normal institutionalized religion. Going further, there are no doubt differences of degree between the will to believe decisions in science and the will to believe decisions in religion. These have been explicated in more specific terms by Ian Barbour in his article, “Paradigms in Science and Religion.” ...each of the ‘subjective’ features of science... is more evident in the case of religion: (1) the influence of interpretation on data, (2) the resistance of comprehensive theories of falsification, and (3) the absence of rules for choice among paradigms. Each of the corresponding ‘objective’ features of science is less evident in the case of religion: (1) the presence of common data on which disputants can agree, (2) the cumulative effect of evidence for or against a theory, and (3) the existence of criteria which are not paradigm-dependent. It is clear that in all three respects religion is a more ‘subjective’ enterprise than science. But in each case there is a difference of degree - not an absolute contrast between an ‘objective’ science and a ‘subjective’ religion. Ian Barbour, “Paradigms in Science and Religion,” in Paradigms and Revolutions, edited by Gary Gutting (Notre Dame: University of Notre Dame Press, 1980) pp. 242–43. Barbour correctly notes that the “...choice is not between religion and science, but between theism, pantheism, and naturalism, let us say, as each is expressed in a particular historical tradition. No basic beliefs are capable of demonstrable proof.”Ibid., p. 243. James sometimes comes close to recognizing this but his oscillation on the status of the everyday world of common sense, or the perceptual world, causes him not to see the issue clearly. When the animated world of the perceptual is taken as the all inclusive ‘really real,’ science is viewed as an abstract, second class citizen. But James offers what we would consider a more sophisticated and adequate perspective when he views the world of common sense, having become linguistified, as itself suspicious, and consequently views all three tiers - common sense, scholastic philosophy, and science - as “regional ontologies”, or “language games” in Wittgenstein's terminologySee Ludwig Wittgenstein, Philosophical Investigations, translated by G.E.M. Anscombe (New York: The Macmillan Company, 1953), paragraph 7, paragraph 23. For the notion of “regional ontology” see Edmund Husserl, Ideas, translated by W.R. Boyce Gibson (New York: Collier Books, Macmillan Publishing Company, Inc., 1962) p. 57ff; p. 158ff. - and opposes all three to a more primordial or prereflexive level. When James takes this second approach it is easier to see that the basic distinction he began to make in “The Will to Believe” was between the scientific and religious domain where the will to believe was to be employed, and the domain of “ordinary” religion and science. Finally this position anticipates his ultimate metaphysical outlook, viz. “pure experience” as approachable through language on a series of diverse regional levels, but nonetheless not completely describable within language. It is important to recall that in The Varieties of Religious Experience James distinguishes between the science of religions and what he calls living religion: [T] he science of religions may not be an equivalent for living religion; and if we turn to the inner difficulties of such a science, we see that a point comes when she must drop the purely theoretic attitude, and either let her knots remain uncut, or have them cut by active faith. James, VRE, p. 489. The study of religion, in short is not the activity of religion; the latter is animated, personal, and, we would argue, necessitates a commitment in terms of the will to believe. Once again, however, James hesitates over offering the same two-fold delineation in other areas of science. On the one hand he tells the reader that “science-has ended by utterly repudiating the personal point of view.”Ibid., p. 491. On the other hand, he offers the following comment a few pages later on in a footnote: ...the divorce between scientist facts and religious facts may not necessarily be as eternal as it at first sight seems, nor the personalism and romanticism of the world, as they appeared to primitive thinking, be matters so irrevocably outgrown. The final opinion may, in short, in some manner now impossible to forsee, revert to the more personal style, just as any path of progress may follow a spiral rather than a straight line. If this were so, the rigorously impersonal view of science might one day appear as having been a temporarily useful eccentricity rather than the definitely triumphant position which the sectarian scientist at present so confidently announces it to be.Ibid., p. 501, Footnote. The burden of this paper has been to indicate that when James' two-fold outlook on perception and/or common sense is properly reconstructed, the raproachment between science and religion is not so “impossible to forsee.”. (shrink)
Barbour’s interpretation of Mach’s principle led him to postulate that gravity should be formulated as a dynamical theory of spatial conformal geometry, or in his terminology, “shapes.” Recently, it was shown that the dynamics of General Relativity can indeed be formulated as the dynamics of shapes. This new Shape Dynamics theory, unlike earlier proposals by Barbour and his collaborators, implements local spatial conformal invariance as a gauge symmetry that replaces refoliation invariance in General Relativity. It is the purpose (...) of this paper to answer frequent questions about (new) Shape Dynamics, such as its relation to Poincaré invariance, General Relativity, Constant Mean (extrinsic) Curvature gauge, earlier Shape Dynamics, and finally the conformal approach to the initial value problem of General Relativity. Some of these relations can be clarified by considering a simple model: free electrodynamics and its dual shift symmetric formulation. This model also serves as an example where symmetry trading is used for usual gauge theories. (shrink)
While establishing the first type of relevancy, one takes into account the standard issues of the classical philosophy of nature. In particular, they are focused on the question of hylomorphism, evolutionism and miraculous events. This type of relevancy is defined through the relationships between the results of the natural sciences. They imply philosophical problems, a fact that enables us to establish the relationships between these sciences and theology. As a rule, it is the philosophy of nature and philosophy of God (...) (I. G. Barbour, A. Anderwald) that play the role of mediators between the natural sciences and theology. The problems in question continue the relationships between evolution and creation, between science and religion, or religious faith, and between theology and the natural sciences. A discussion on the second type of relevancy depends to a large extent on the aspectual additional definitions of its terms. Obviously, they contain the concepts of science, philosophy, worldview, ideology, religion, and theology. These explicative manoeuvres allow us to take advantage of the strategies, introduced beforehand, of establishing the relationship between science and religion. It is essential for our context to construct a coherent image of the world, an image that is characteristic of the philosophy of nature. This image combines some aspects of science, philosophy, including metaphysics, ethics, and theology. (shrink)
This review of Julian Barbour's The End of Time (1999) discusses his Machian theories of dynamics, and his proposal that a Machian perspective enables one to solve the problem of time in quantum geometrodynamics, viz. by saying that there is no time!1 Introduction2 Machian themes in classical physics2.1 The status quo2.2 Machianism2.2.1 The temporal metric as emergent2.2.2 Machian theories2.2.3 Assessing intrinsic dynamics3 The end of time?3.1 Time unreal? The classical case3.1.1 Spontaneity3.1.2 Barbour's vision: time capsules3.2 Evidence from quantum (...) physics?3.2.1 Mott scattering as a model for time capsules3.2.2 Solving the problem of time? (shrink)