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Cosmos Magazine

Michael Lockwood

The Labyrinth of Time

Previously when I've read books on the philosophy of time I've often found them to be full of obscure arguments (whose main purpose seems to be to show that the author is smarter than everyone else). Now Michael Lockwood has produced a work which doesn't get bogged down in abstract philosophising. That's not to say that you won't find some of the ideas in 'The Labyrinth of Time' challenging, but if you've read other 'popular science' type books then you shouldn't have too much trouble following this one. I'd recommend it to anyone who is interested in the nature of time (and who isn't?)

The book is full of ideas about time, starting with what philosophers have had to say on the subject, and moving on to the nature of time in relativity, thermodynamics and quantum theory, as well as considering the possibilities of time travel.

One thing I wasn't too keen on was the derivation of the deterministic 'Block Universe' view from special relativity, a derivation which I think is philosophical sleight of hand. This doesn't detract from the rest of the book, although as I was reading I did begin to wonder about the lack of any discussion of Deutsch's many-worlds ideas of time travel, which was conspicuous by it's absence. It turned out that Lockwood was leaving it until last, as the method of time-travel which he thought of as most likely to be possible.  |  Chronon Critical Points  |  Recent Science Book Reviews