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The concept of time

Ben Wilbrink


This page collects some literature on the concept of time, some annotations on it, and connecting bits and pieces of text.

The idea is to use the concept of time as an example of the endless possibilities to give meaning to such important concepts in our daily life, school work, or scientific endeavors. As such, the page will be useful to the readers of my 'Test item design', the first page of that online project is here. Serendipity is the method followed to gather some of the literature. The books will mostly be the ones that I have been able to acquire. I will try to gather online resources related to the issues I will mention in connection to any specific book.

There are many books on many important concepts. Max Jammer is without doubt one of the most interesting authors in this special field, having written two books on the concept of mass, and one on the concept of space. I will mention more of such books or articles as soon as I come across them - which will be soon, without any doubt.

Lee Smolin (january 2004). Atoms of space and time. Scientific American january 56-65.

Richard Sorabji (1983). Time, Creation and the Continuum: Theories in Antiquity and the Early Middle Ages. University of Chicago Press.

Dennis Overbye (May 22, 2001). Before the Big Bang, There Was . . . What? New York Times html

H. Groot (1958). Het mysterie van de tijd. Assen: Van Gorcum.

Haeften, Chris van (1999). Zijn en tijd in de filosofie van A.N. Whitehead. proefschrift Vrije Universiteit.

Mostert, Marco, Janneke Raaijmakers, en Peter Verbist (2003). Eeuwig gaat voor ogenblik. Tijd en de Middeleeuwen. Madoc, Tijdschrift over de Middeleeuwen, themanummer jaargang 17 nr 4. Hilversum: Verloren.

Lettinck, Nico (1983). Geschiedbeschouwing en beleving van de eigen tijd in de eerste helft van de twaalfde eeuw. proefschrift Vrije Universiteit

Gumbert-Hepp, M. (1987). Computus magistri Jacobi. Een schoolboek voor tijdrekenkunde uit 1436. Hilversum: Verloren.

Draaisma, D. (1990). Het verborgen raderwerk. Over tijd, machines en bewustzijn. Baarn: Ambo.

Moore, W. E. (1963). Man, time, & society. New York: Wiley.

Huang, Chun-shieh, and Erik Zürcher (Eds) (1995). Time & space in Chinese culture. Brill (meen ik)

Le Goff, J. (1980). Time, work, & culture in the middle ages. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.

Ariew, R. (Ed.) (1985). Pierre Duhem: Medieval cosmology; theories of infinity, place, time, void, and the plurality of worlds. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.

Borst, A. (1993). The ordering of time. From the ancient computus to the modern computer. Cambridge: Polity Press. (1990, Computus: Zeit und Zahl in der Geschichte Europas. Verlag Klaus Wagenbach).

Wijk, W. E. van (1936). Le nombre d’or. étude de chronologie technique suivie du texte de la Massa compoti d’Alexandre de Villedieu avec traduction et commentaire. La Haye: Martnus Nijhoff.

Thomsen, C. W., & Holländer, H. (Her.) (1984). Augenblick und Zeitpunkt. Studien zur Zeitstruktur und Zeitmetaphorik in Kunst und Wissenschaften. Darmstadt: Wissenschaftliche Buchgesellschaft.

Peter Galison (2003). Empires of time. Einstein's clocks, poincaré's maps. Norton.

Bede: the reckoning of time. Translated, with introduction, notes and commentary by Faith Wallis (1999). Liverpool: Liverpool University Press.

Joseph Campbell (1957/1983). Man and time. Papers from the Eranos Yearbooks. Bollingen series XXX. Princeton University Press.

Natasa Rakié; (1997). Common sense, time and special relativity. Proefschrift Universiteit van Amsterdam.

E. W. Dolnikowski (1995). Thomas Bradwardine. A view of time and a vision of eternity in fourteenth-century thought. Leiden: Brill.

Fraser, J. T. (Ed.) The voices of time. A cooperative survey of man's views of time as expressed by the sciences and by the humanities. New York: George Braziller.

Fraser, J. T., N. Lawrence, and F. C. Haber, F. C. (Eds) (1986). Time, science, and society in China and the west. The study of time V. Amherst: University of Massachusetts Press.

Butterfield, J. (Ed.) (1999). The arguments of time. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Campbell, J. (1957/73). Man and time. Princeton UP.

Milic Capek (1991). The new aspects of time. Its continuity and novelties. Selected papers in the philosophy of science. Dordrecht: Kluwer.

Milic Capek (Ed.) (1976). The concepts of space and time. Their structure and their development. Dordrecht/Boston: Reidel.

Roger Ariew (Ed.) (1985). Pierre Duhem: Medieval cosmology; theories of infinity, place, time, void, and the plurality of worlds. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.

Earman, John C., Glymour, Clark N., & Stachel, John J. (Eds) (1977). Foundations of space-time theories. The Andover Conference. Minnesota Studies in Philosophy of Science, Volume VIII.

Price, H. (1996). Time's arrow and Archimedes' point. New directions for the physics of time. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Hans Reichenbach (1956/1991). The direction of time. Berkeley: University of California Press.

Rescher, Nicholas (1981). Leibniz's metaphysics of nature. Dordrecht: Reidel.

Clark Blaise (2000). Time Lord. Sir Sandford Fleming and the Creation of Standard Time. Weidenfeld & Nicholson.

Literature on specific concepts


Max Jammer (2000). Concepts of mass in contemporary physics and philosophy. Princeton University Press.

Max Jammer (1961). Concepts of mass in classical and modern physics. Harvard University Press.

Max Jammer (1954/1993). Concepts of space. The history of theories of space in physics. Third, enlarged edition. New York: Dover.

Milic Capek (Ed.) (1976). The concepts of space and time. Their structure and their development. Dordrecht/Boston: Reidel.

Bas C. van Fraassen (1989). Laws and symmetry. Oxford; Clarendon Press.

Literature on concepts as such


Ladislav Tondl (1973). Scientific procedures. Dordddrecht: Reidel.

Carl G. Hempel (1952). Fundamentals of concept formation in empirical science. London: The University of Chicago Press.

Peter Achinstein (1968). Concepts of science. A philosophical analysis. Baltimore: The Johns Hopkins Press.

Stephen Toulmin (1972/1977). Human understanding. The collective use and evolution of concepts. Princeton University Press.

J. A. Fodor (1998). Concepts. Where cognitive science went wrong. Oxford: Clarendon Press.

Christopher Peacocke (1992). A study of concepts. Cambridge, Massachusetts: MIT Press.


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