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The Philosophy of Physics: Philosophical Issues about Space and Time

PHI 538

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The setting of spacetime physics is an excellent place to look for sharp answers to intuitive questions about the distinction between the subjective and the objective, and between appearances and reality. We look at what great thinkers (Newton, Leibniz, du Châtelet, etc.) have said about these issues, but we primarily try to find a view that fits with the best current scientific knowledge (in particular, the Special and General Theories of Relativity). For example, is the passage of time real or merely illusion? Or, is the "real" that which is independent of any reference frame?
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Section S01