Although the concept of space is of fundamental importance in both physics and philosophy, until the publication of this book, the idea of space had never been treated in terms of its historical development. It remained for Dr. Jammer, noted scholar and historian of science, to trace the evolution of the idea of space in this comprehensive, thought-provoking study. The focus of the book is on physical, rather than metaphysical, ideas of space; however, philosophical or theological speculations are discussed when relevant. The author has also given special attention to the cultural settings in which the theories developed.
Following a Foreword by Albert Einstein and an introductory chapter on the concept of space in antiquity, subsequent chapters consider Judaeo-Christian ideas about space, the emancipation of the space concept from Aristotelianism, Newton's concept of absolute space and the concept of space from the eighteenth century to the present. For this third edition, Dr. Jammer has contributed an extensive new chapter six, reviewing the numerous and profound changes in the philosophy of space since the publication of the second edition.
An abundance of meticulously documented quotations from original sources and numerous bibliographic references make this an exceptionally well-documented book. It is essential reading for philosophers, physicists, and mathematicians, but even nonprofessional readers will find it accessible.
Reprint of the Harvard University Press, Cambridge, Massachusetts, 1957 second edition.
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