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The Physicist and the Philosopher
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Table of Contents

Preface vii PART 1. THE DEBATE CHAPTER 1 Untimely 3 CHAPTER 2 "More Einsteinian than Einstein" 16 CHAPTER 3 Science or Philosophy? 38 PART 2. THE MEN CHAPTER 4 The Twin Paradox 53 CHAPTER 5 Bergson's Achilles' Heel 62 CHAPTER 6 Worth Mentioning? 73 CHAPTER 7 Bergson Writes to Lorentz 87 CHAPTER 8 Bergson Meets Michelson 98 CHAPTER 9 The Debate Spreads 114 CHAPTER 10 Back from Paris 131 CHAPTER 11 Two Months Later 139 CHAPTER 12 Logical Positivism 153 CHAPTER 13 The Immediate Aftermath 162 CHAPTER 14 An Imaginary Dialogue 172 CHAPTER 15 "Full-Blooded" Time 179 CHAPTER 16 The Previous Spring 195 CHAPTER 17 The Church 203 CHAPTER 18 The End of Universal Time 218 CHAPTER 19 Quantum Mechanics 230 PART 3. THE THINGS CHAPTER 20 Things 241 CHAPTER 21 Clocks and Wristwatches 252 CHAPTER 22 Telegraph, Telephone, and Radio 265 CHAPTER 23 Atoms and Molecules 274 CHAPTER 24 Einstein's Films: Reversible 283 CHAPTER 25 Bergson's Movies: Out of Control 292 CHAPTER 26 Microbes and Ghosts 303 CHAPTER 27 One New Point: Recording Devices 315 PART 4. THE WORDS CHAPTER 28 Bergson's Last Comments 327 CHAPTER 29 Einstein's Last Thoughts 337 Postface 349 Acknowledgments 359 Notes 363 Bibliography 423 Index 451

About the Author

Jimena Canales holds the Thomas M. Siebel Chair in the History of Science at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign.

Reviews

One of Science Friday's Best Science Books of 2015, chosen by Maria Popova One of The Independent.ie Irish Writers' Top Reads 2015 One of Brainpickings' The Best Science Books of 2015 "The Physicist and the Philosopher is an extraordinarily rich and wide-ranging work. Canales has rescued from near oblivion a fascinating, highly significant debate that is still relevant in an age which has begun uneasily to question the hegemony of science and its uncontrollable child, technology."--John Banville, London Review of Books "In illuminating a historic 1922 debate between Albert Einstein and Henri Bergson about the nature of time, Canales marks a turning point in the power of philosophy to influence science."--Publishers Weekly "Sparks--both incendiary and illuminating--fly from the collision of two giants!"--Booklist, starred review "This fascinating, scholarly, readable look at physics and epistemology will interest readers of science, history, philosophy, and biography."--Library Journal, starred review "Whether or not you agree, this humane and melancholy account of how two talents misunderstood each other will linger in the mind."--New Scientist "[Canales] weaves a tale around Europe and to America... [Her] subject raises important core philosophical issues, like the scope of philosophy itself."--Michael Ruse, The Chronicle of Higher Education "This fascinating book traces a debate about the nature of time... Canales has done a masterful job of research and explication. Her account of the debate is lively, the background of it is interesting, and the debate's ramifications as filtered through other minds are downright exciting. Anyone interested in physics or philosophy will have a field day with this book."--Kelly Cherry, The Smart Set "Canales does sterling work investigating these engagements ... [A] stimulating book."--Graham Farmelo, Nature "In The Physicist and the Philosopher, Canales recounts how Bergson challenged Einstein's theories, arguing that time is not a fourth dimension definable by scientists but a 'vital impulse,' the source of creativity. It was an incendiary topic at the time, and it shaped a split between science and humanities that persisted for decades--though Einstein was generally seen as the winner and Bergson is all but forgotten."--Nancy Szokan, Washington Post "A book remarkable both for its profound research and for its elegance in presentation. Intellectual history should always be so accessible."--Benjamin Franklin Martin, Key Reporter "[General and professional readers] will learn much from a study that is accessible and edifying to a great diversity of readers."--Choice "The Physicist and the Philosopher ... is at least three things: a monument to precise scholarship, an exemplar of logical clarity, and a fine example of excellent writing. I have rarely learned more from a book."--Peter A.Y. Gunter, Physics in Perspective "Brilliant."--James Gleick, Bits in the Ether "A masterwork of cultural forensics."--Maria Popova, Brainpickings "It's hard to imagine that any single author will ever outdo this account of the recent history of our concepts of time."--Chris Nunn, Journal of Consciousness Studies "A gripping critique of Einstein's thought and a convincing rehabilitation of Bergsonian time, freed from the tyranny of mathematics."--Hilary Davies, The Tablet

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