Re: Causality

From: Hal Finney <>
Date: Sun, 14 Jul 2002 18:46:03 -0700

Tim May writes:
> One reason I like the recent scientific papers on causality, light
> cones, universes, toposes, etc. is to move beyond the b.s. college bull
> sessions about determinacy and suchlike.

Yes, there is a lot to be said for this perspective. In some cases,
science is able to find concrete and testable answers to questions
which have long been in the realm of philosophy. After all, science
was originally called "natural philosophy".

> A large literature on why time reversal is meaningful locally, but not
> globally. Usual example of gas expanding from a cylinder to fill a room
> versus reversed image of gas moving back into cylinder.
> (A couple of books: "The Physics of Time Asymmetry," P.C.W. Davies,
> 1974, 1977, and "Asymmetries in Time," Paul Horwich, 1987.)

Another good book on this topic, more philosophically oriented, is Huw
Price's 'Time's Arrow and Archimedes's Point'. He has a web page at which has a chapter
from the book and some reviews. This book actually made a good case for
a notion which I had always thought to be absurd, namely that if the
universe's expansion were to reverse and become a contraction leading
up to a "big crunch", time might reverse in the contracting phase.

Hal Finney
Received on Sun Jul 14 2002 - 19:04:30 PDT

This archive was generated by hypermail 2.3.0 : Fri Feb 16 2018 - 13:20:07 PST