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The Eleven Pictures of Time: The Physics, Philosophy, and Politics of Time Beliefs

The Eleven Pictures of Time: The Physics, Philosophy, and Politics of Time Beliefs

Specifications

Item Code: IDE597

by C.K. Raju

Hardcover (Edition: 2002)

Sage Publications
ISBN 0761996249

Language: English
Size: 8.7" X 5.7"
Pages: 587
Price: $55.00   Shipping Free - 4 to 6 days
SOLD
Viewed times since 16th Oct, 2009

Description

From the Jacket:

Time is a mystery that has perplexed humankind since time immemorial. Resolving this mystery is of significance not only to philosophers and physicists but is also a very practical concern. Our perception of time shapes our values and way of life; it also mediates the interaction between science and religion both of which rest fundamentally on assumptions about the nature of time.

C.K. Raju begins with a critical exposition of various time-beliefs, ranging from the earliest times through Augustine, Newton and Einstein to Stephen Hawking and current notions of chaos and time travel. He traces the role of organized religion in subverting time beliefs for its political ends. The book points out how this resulted inafacile dichotomy between 'linear' and 'cyclic' time, thereby inaugurating a confusion which, according to the author, has handicapped Western thought ever since, eventually influencing the content of science itself. Thus, this book daringly asserts that physical theory, traditionally regarded as amoral and objective, has depended on cultural beliefs about time.

The author points out that time beliefs are again being manipulated today as the credibility of science is being exploited to promote a picture of time and, hence, a pattern of human behavior which is convenient to the agenda of globalization of culture. The linkages between modern theology and this 'brave new physics' are traced against the wider context of the so-called 'clash of civilizations', and the attempts to remake the world order.

The conclusions point to need to de-theologies time. The author challenges Einstein's understanding of relativity theory and suggests that a 'tilt in the arrow of time', or a small tendency towards cyclicity, will help repair the prevalent confusion about time. A 'tilt' also enables a physics that permits both memory and creativity, so that purpose and spontaneous growth of order are returned to human life. The book ends with a vision of Man as Creator, surprising God.

Extensive research in physics, the history of science, comparative religions, and sociology lend weight to the important and challenging conclusions reached by the author. Written as a rejoinder to Stephen Hawking's A Brief History of Time, this book goes much further and, unlike any previous book, it gives a critical exposition of various world religions-Buddhism, Christianity, Hinduism, Islam, and Jainism - while exploring their intricate links, through time beliefs, to current physics on the one hand, and to global political and economic trends, on the other. This book will appeal to scholars and laypersons equally. It will fascinate anyone who read it and will teach its readers to question the unquestionable.

About the Author:

C.K. Raju is Professor and Head of the Centre for Computer Science, MCRP University, Bhopal. He is also an Editorial Fellow with the Project of History of Indian Science, Philosophy and Culture, under the aegis of the Centre for Studies in Civilizations, New Delhi. He has been a Fellow of the Indian Institute of Advanced Study, an Affiliated Fellow of the Nehru Memorial Museum and Library, and an editor of the Journal of Indian Council of Philosophical Research. He has taught and conducted pioneering research in mathematics for several years, besides working with the Centre for Development of Advanced Computing in building India's first supercomputer, Param. An outstanding scientist, his previous publications include Time: Towards a Consistent Theory (1994) which put forward a new system of equations for Physics.

CONTENTS

Preface13
Prologue15
PART 1: TIME AND ESCHATOLOGY
1.Life and Death21
2.The Cruse on 'Cyclinc' Time37
3.Creation, Immortality, and the New Physics52
PART 2: TIME IN CURRENT PHYSICS
4.Newton's Secret123
5.In Einstein's Shadow143
6.Broken Time: Chance, Chaos, Complexity172
7.Time Travel229
PART 3: DE-THEOLOGISING PHYSICS
8.The Eleven Pictures of Time271
9.The Tilt in the Arrow of Time298
PART 4: TIME AND VALUES
10.Time as Money323
11.The Transformation of Time in Tradition355
12.Revaluation of all Values406
Epilogue439
Appendix443
The Argument455
Acknowledgements472
Persons475
Dates487
Glossary493
Notes501
Index567
About the Author589


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