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On April 6, 1922, in Paris, Albert Einstein and Henri Bergson publicly debated the nature of time. Einstein considered Bergson's theory of time to be a soft, psychological notion, irreconcilable with the quantitative realities of physics. Bergson, who gained fame as a philosopher by arguing that time should not be understood exclusively through the lens of science, criticized Einstein's theory of time for being a metaphysics grafted on to science, one that ignored the intuitive aspects of time. The Physicist and the Philosopher tells the remarkable story of how this explosive debate transformed our understanding of time and drove a rift between science and the humanities that persists today. Jimena Canales introduces readers to the revolutionary ideas of Einstein and Bergson, describes how they dramatically collided in Paris, and traces how this clash of worldviews reverberated across the twentieth century. She shows how it provoked responses from figures such as Bertrand Russell and Martin Heidegger, and carried repercussions for American pragmatism, logical positivism, phenomenology, and quantum mechanics. Canales explains how the new technologies of the period—such as wristwatches, radio, and film—helped to shape people’s conceptions of time and further polarized the public debate. She also discusses how Bergson and Einstein, toward the end of their lives, each reflected on his rival’s legacy—Bergson during the Nazi occupation of Paris and Einstein in the context of the first hydrogen bomb explosion. The Physicist and the Philosopher is a magisterial and revealing account that shows how scientific truth was placed on trial in a divided century marked by a new sense of time.
Explores miracles as dimensions of everyday existence through the lens of religious naturalism. Miracles are usually regarded as an intrusion of a supernatural force upsetting the normal workings and laws of the universe, but if one is attentive to the natural world, one can instead find miracles beneath the surface of everyday existence. This outlook is part of Donald A. Crosby’s religious naturalism, which he terms Religion of Nature, a belief system that posits the natural world to be the only world, without any underlying or transcending supernatural being, presence, or power. In The Extraordinary in the Ordinary, Crosby explores seven types of everyday miracles, such as time, language, and love, to show that the miraculous and ordinary are not opposed to each other. Rather, it is when we acknowledge the sacred depths and dimensions of everyday existence that we recognize the miracles that constantly surround us.
Argues that a pluralistic understanding of truth can foster productive conversations about common concerns involving religion, science, ethics, politics, economics, and ecology without falling into relativism. In this book, Donald A. Crosby defends the idea that all claims to truth are at best partial. Recognizing this, he argues, is a necessary safeguard against arrogance, close-mindedness, and potentially violent reactions to differences of outlook and practice. Crosby demonstrates how “partial truths” are inevitably at work in conversations and debates about religion, science, morality, economics, ecology, and social and political progress. He then focuses on the concept in the discipline of philosophy, looking at a number of distinctions that are taken to be strictly binary—those between fact and value, continuity and novelty, rationalism and empiricism, mind and body, and good and evil—and demonstrates how in all of these cases, each on its own can offer only an incomplete picture. Partial Truths and Our Common Future invites ongoing dialogue with others for the sake of mutual enlargements of understanding rather than mere civility, and provides incentive for continuing open-minded and shared inquiries into the important issues of life. “This is a transdisciplinary philosophical work that moves with grace across traditions, time periods, and thinkers. It is a master class in the existential and public relevance of philosophy and a rare example of a book that is both timely and timeless.” — Michael S. Hogue, author of The Promise of Religious Naturalism
Investigate the challenging and nuanced philosophy of the long nineteenth century from Kant to Bergson Philosophy in the nineteenth century was characterized by new ways of thinking, a desperate searching for new truths. As science, art, and religion were transformed by social pressures and changing worldviews, old certainties fell away, leaving many with a terrifying sense of loss and a realization that our view of things needed to be profoundly rethought. The Blackwell Companion to Nineteenth-Century Philosophy covers the developments, setbacks, upsets, and evolutions in the varied philosophy of the nineteenth century, beginning with an examination of Kant’s Transcendental Idealism, instrumental in the fundamental philosophical shifts that marked the beginning of this new and radical age in the history of philosophy. Guiding readers chronologically and thematically through the progression of nineteenth-century thinking, this guide emphasizes clear explanation and analysis of the core ideas of nineteenth-century philosophy in an historically transitional period. It covers the most important philosophers of the era, including Hegel, Fichte, Schopenhauer, Mill, Kierkegaard, Marx, Nietzsche, Bradley, and philosophers whose work manifests the transition from the nineteenth century into the modern era, such as Sidgwick, Peirce, Husserl, Frege and Bergson. The study of nineteenth-century philosophy offers us insight into the origin and creation of the modern era. In this volume, readers will have access to a thorough and clear understanding of philosophy that shaped our world.
An alternative history of software that places the liberal arts at the very center of software's evolution. In The Software Arts, Warren Sack offers an alternative history of computing that places the arts at the very center of software's evolution. Tracing the origins of software to eighteenth-century French encyclopedists' step-by-step descriptions of how things were made in the workshops of artists and artisans, Sack shows that programming languages are the offspring of an effort to describe the mechanical arts in the language of the liberal arts. Sack offers a reading of the texts of computing--code, algorithms, and technical papers--that emphasizes continuity between prose and programs. He translates concepts and categories from the liberal and mechanical arts--including logic, rhetoric, grammar, learning, algorithm, language, and simulation--into terms of computer science and then considers their further translation into popular culture, where they circulate as forms of digital life. He considers, among other topics, the "arithmetization" of knowledge that presaged digitization; today's multitude of logics; the history of demonstration, from deduction to newer forms of persuasion; and the post-Chomsky absence of meaning in grammar. With The Software Arts, Sack invites artists and humanists to see how their ideas are at the root of software and invites computer scientists to envision themselves as artists and humanists.
Bergson's central contention is that time is not measurable by any objective standard; in Duration and Simultaneity, that position is tried out against the major movement in physics of the day - Relativity. Bergson argues that Relativity fails to live up to the promise of a truly relative physics, and counter to its own spirit retains some of the objectivist assumptions of previous world views. Duration and Simultaneity was conceived in the desire to make good the new paradigm to which Relativity was bound to lay claim; in the desire to be more Einsteinian than Einstein.
Debating the nature of time, this collection of essays includes both the physicist's and the philosopher's viewpoint, questioning whether time exists, whether it is absolute or relative and whether it is continuous or fragmented.

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