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Introducing Time: A Graphic Guide (Introducing...) [Kindle Edition]

Craig Callender , Ralph Edney
3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)

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Book Description

What is time? The 5th-century philosopher St Augustine famously said that he knew what time was, so long as no one asked him. Is time a fourth dimension similar to space or does it flow in some sense? And if it flows, does it make sense to say how fast? Does the future exist? Is time travel possible? Why does time seem to pass in only one direction?These questions and others are among the deepest and most subtle that one can ask, but "Introducing Time" presents them - many for the first time - in an easily accessible, lucid and engaging manner, wittily illustrated by Ralph Edney.

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About the Author

Craig Callander teaches philosophy at the University of California, San Diego. Ralph Edney is a well-established graphic artist whose other introducing titles include Relativity.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Informative and Readable 17 Jun. 2008
Introducing Time presents you with the questions that have perplexed human beings for centuries - Is time merely in the head? When does time end and is time travel possible?

Craig Callender and Ralph Edney attempt to tackle these questions (and more) in a readable and exciting look at the science and history of time.
It begins with the 5th century philosopher Augustine of Hippo's question "What is time?" and then takes us on a tour of time hypotheses up until Stephen Hawking's theories in the 21st century.

The book covers everything from time keeping devices and biological clocks to the ideas of Newtonian time, the fourth dimension, space-time, Einstein's relativity, wormholes, the law of entropy and statistical mechanics.

Along the way, the authors discuss what might happen if we were to travel back in time and kill our younger selves - would we still exist, or would we vanish? Could we stop Abraham Lincoln's murder or assassinate Hitler? What would happen if time went into reverse, and is that even possible?

The authors also make mention of sci-fi films and books such as the Terminator, Back to the Future and Philip K. Dick's Counter-Clock World, where they discuss if the plots of these stories are logically possible.

If you have ever wondered about things like these, then this book will present you with the most up to date ideas on these topics within the scientific community. Black and white cartoons and drawings illustrate every page, which makes these topics easily digestible.

This is probably the most accessible book on this subject for the layman. It presents fascinating, mind boggling and often paradoxical ideas such as a 'never ending finite space' and the idea that the universe sprang into existence 5 seconds ago in a way that anyone could understand.

A terrific book, and one of the best in the 'Introducing' series. Thoroughly recommended!
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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars TIME REVEALS ALL 23 Aug. 2002
Excellent!!!Easy and entertaining to read!!!Fully illustrated in comic like fashion (black & white) it helps to unravel and understand the concept of TIME.It begins with a tour of the definition of TIME by history's most famous scientists to modern day concept of the possiblity of TIME TRAVEL.Although it trys hard to remain as lay man in approach as possible,in the last chapters it becomes a more complicated subject when faced with theories which are basically impossible to simplify.
All in all an interesting and fresh approach to a subject which intrigues many but is read by few because of its scientific jargon.At last a book one can understand and fully enjoy.
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Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
It contains descriptions of two mainstream contrasting views and dozens of other concepts or philosophies about how the time could be perceived. Two mainstream views are tensed and tenseless theories of time, and other concepts would be for example Geroch's theorem, Godel's rotating universe, Einstein's relativity, Galilean's relativity, McTaggart's argument, Poincare's conventionalism, Leibniz's relationalism, Newtonian time, Rabi's atomic clock, Nietzsche's eternal recurrence, and so so many more.

This book is a true philosophical and/or freethinking feast. Every page, or double page, offers a view that lights up another angle of what is and was out there in terms of understanding the time. The basic philosophical quest is still firmly here. Questions like is there a time? and if yes how it behaves, standing or moving? and if moving how fast? in which direction? has been answered many different ways. So technically, there is no one particular view tat rules out all the others, and the debate is still on.

In the end, it's only a question of choosing right concepts that appeal to you, and try to understand them to the ground, so you can see the point clearly. And then the more clear points you can see, the more options you have to choose for yourself, which ones are more realistic, and which ones less. This gives the reader the exercise in imagination, streching it out a litlle bit. I recommend that you will try it out for yourself to see which concepts ring the bell, and which sound totally useless and immature. It's worth the journey.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Hugely entertaining and stimulating 21 Sept. 2010
I thought this was a hugely entertaining and stimulating book. My mind boggled as I wrestled with the various philosophicaal conundrums associated with time. Highly recommended!
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16 of 21 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Not for the Scientist! 17 Aug. 2008
This book is OK as long as you are not a physicist or wish to find out about `time' from the point of view of a scientist. This is not meant as a criticism, purely as a fact. For such a book, the discussion should be done by a physicist, not a philosopher - let's not get bogged down with philosophy and `truth' in physics.

Basically, the book spends most of its time talking about the human perception of time and how we have described or mis-described this idea in various areas of the media. There is way too much space used to discuss the paradoxes which are basically associated with time travel into the past and it spends very little of its `time' actually discussing the scientific aspects of time. There are various comments in the text which are used to describe problems with the history of time but they are so loosely defined that again, for scientists (and in particular, physicists), they become irritating. For example, the difference between tensed and tenseless time is explains but then when problems are discussed (like McTaggart's Argument on pages 46-47, the descriptions are poorly described and so, the problems easily ignored).

The two main attempts are through relativity and the concept of entropy. When discussing Relativity the book tries to discuss `frames of reference' and `simultaneity' but the descriptions are very poorly described - you would be much better reading the first half of the Elegant Universe - ignored the last 40% - the discussion of string theory itself is very lose.

Spacetime is very poorly described and the possible solutions to Einstein's equation of General Relativity are discussed for a universe which does not have the cosmological principle as its basis and are very questionable.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
2.0 out of 5 stars I guess this book is very good but I couldn't understand much of what...
I guess this book is very good but I couldn't understand much of what it contained - several terms that I have never encountered before - and found them difficult to grasp. Read more
Published 18 days ago by G. Colville
3.0 out of 5 stars Three Stars
The front cover I liked...pity about the rest
Published 2 months ago by sozo
5.0 out of 5 stars Presented in a light hearted way - easy to follow and captivating...
A slow introduction leading to some fascinating concepts. Novel illustrations. Presented in a light hearted way - easy to follow and captivating reading on an interesting... Read more
Published 6 months ago by eddierifff
5.0 out of 5 stars Very comprehensive and easy to read
I love the Introducing series and this book on time is excellent. Covers all of the main subject areas to do with time, is easy to read and well laid out. Read more
Published 14 months ago by P. Symonds
5.0 out of 5 stars Another AGG hit
Simply good. It does exactly what it says on the cover. Accessible by people of all levels of science understanding.
Published on 3 Dec. 2012 by GlobalTrucker
3.0 out of 5 stars "Introducing Time" seems to assume, but not prove, Time's existence.
Although this book is excellently written and presented, (I am a great fan of the `Introducing' series), I should declare I read this book as research because I have a vested... Read more
Published on 26 July 2012 by Mr. Matthew Marsden
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