Conceptions of Space and Time
Sources, Evolution, Directions
This fresh and original work by a young Soviet philosopher of science is a noteworthy event. Murad Akhundov combines a technical proficiency in science with a deep interest and understanding of the cultural and historical background of scientific concepts. He uses these disparate points of view and his broad knowledge of both Western and Soviet scholarship to shed new light on the classical problem of the sources, evolution, and current directions of human conceptions of space and time. The book is in three parts. The first, on stages of cultural and individual development, applies anthropology and psychology in its analysis. The second, on the evolution of philosophical conceptions, draws on the history of philosophy. The third, on modern physical notions, uses mathematics, physics, and philosophy of science. This interdisciplinary approach allows the author to suggest insightful parallels and contrasts between psychological and social perceptions of space and time and those of science. The book concludes with an intriguing suggestion that this approach might be applied to the search for a unified field theory in contemporary physics.