Instructor: Dr Craig Callender
Contact details: Rm HSS 8072
Office hours: Wed 11-12 and by appt
Place: WLH 2209, , MWF
1. Geroch, General Relativity from A to B. This book is accessible to absolutely everyone, but it is still quite sophisticated. It is written by one of the foremost authorities on general relativity in the world today. In it, we’ll find an introduction to the basic ideas of classical spacetimes and relativistic spacetimes.
2. Reichenbach, The
Philosophy of Space and Time. This
The remainder of the readings will consist of:
3. Articles/chapters available electronically on the E-reserves associated with this course. Go to reserves.ucsd.edu and follow the links to the course web site (using either my name or the subject).
4. my notes
The grade will be determined by a major research paper (30%), a take home final exam (30%), homework sets worth 30%, and a research paper outline (explained in class) worth 10%. The first paper is due May 19th . The outline of the topic chosen and path to pursue is due May 5th. Late papers will be penalized 5% per day late. Homework will be assigned in class on a more or less random schedule depending on where we are in the material. Guidelines and paper topics are posted here. Attendance will be taken. Much of the material in the course will only appear in lecture, so anything short of regular attendance will probably severely damage your grade.
Introducing Time by Craig Callender, Icon Press, 2001. This is a silly little book; but it is useful background reading for parts of the course.
Time and Space by Barry Dainton, 2001. The four chapters we need will be scanned in, but it is a nice readable book that you may wish to purchase.
Foundations of Spacetime Physics, Michael Friedman. Advanced, but excellent in all ways.
World Enough and Spacetime, John Earman. Advanced on substantivalism issue, but excellent.
Bangs, Whimpers, Crunches and Shrieks, John Earman. Advanced topics in general relativity—excellent.
Philosophical Problems of Spacetime Theories, Adolph Grunbaum. A classic.
Space, Time, and Spacetime, Larry Sklar. Medium advanced and excellent—about the right level for this course
Space From Zeno to Einstein, Nick Huggett. Classic readings with insightful and readable commentary.
The Shape of Space, Nerhlich. Good and readable.
Introduction to the Philosophy of Science, Salmon et al. Chapter 5 on spacetime by John Norton.
Blackwell Guide to the Philosophy of Science, Machamer and Silberstein. Ch. 9 on spacetime by Craig Callender and Carl Hoefer.
I doubt that we will have time to cover all the following topics, but we will do what we can in more or less in the order described.
Topic 1. Absolute versus Relational Space: Aristotelian Spacetime
Events, Spacetime and Aristotle, Geroch, pp. 3-36
Dainton, “Conceptions of Void”, pp. 132-150
“The Leibniz-Clarke Correspondence” in Huggett , Space From Zeno to Einstein , 1999, pp. 143-158.
Concept of metric space: notes and homework
Topic 2. Absolute versus Relational Space: Galilean
Galilean View and Problems, Geroch, pp. 37-52
Topic 3. Special Relativity
The Interval, Physics and Geometry of Intervals, Geroch, 53-112
Twin paradox, lecture notes
Topic 4. General Relativity
Einstein’s Equation, Curvature and General Relativity, Geroch, 113-185
Topic 5. Absolute versus Relational Spacetime: Relativistic
Maudlin, “Buckets of Water and Waves of Space: Why Spacetime is Probably a Substance”
Dainton, e-reserves chapters
Topic 6. Conventionality of Physical Geometry and Topology
Reichenbach, Chapter 1
Weingard, Robert. "Realism and the Topology of Spacetime", on e-reserves
Reichenbach, “the number of dimensions of space” 273-282
Jean-Pierre Luminet , Glenn D. Starkman and Jeffrey R. Weeks “Is Space Finite?”
Topic 7. Conventionality of Simultaneity
Reichenbach, pp. 123-135
Norton, "Philosophy of Space and Time: Malament’s Result", section 5.11
Janis, Allen, “Conventionality of Simultaneity” http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/spacetime-convensimul/
Topic 8. Time’s Flow and Relativity
Putnam, Hilary, “Time and Physical Geometry” in Journal of Philosophy 64 (1967): 240-247
Stein, Howard, “On Relativity Theory and the Openness of the Future,” in Philosophy of Science 58 (1991): 147-167.*
Callender, C. “Shedding Light on Time” Philosophy of Science (Proceedings), 67, 2000, S587-S599.
Kurt Gödel, “ A Remark About the Relationship Between Relativity Theory and Idealistic Philosophy”
Savitt, S. “Being and Becoming in Modern Physics” http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/spacetime-bebecome/
Lewis, “The Paradoxes of Time Travel” in his Collected Papers (Vol II): 67-80.
Nahin, technical note from Time Machines.*
* = not required
The Hole Argument