"...an astonishingly rich and detailed summary of the principal theories in physics from Galileo to the present day, explaining their historical, conceptual, interpretive, speculative, and empirical sources.... this book is extraordinarily rich in excellent history, from the ancient Greeks to the present.... Those willing to put in the work needed to study this book will be rewarded with what I believe is a most worthwhile perspective on the legacy we have inherited from Galileo onward." Studies in History and Philosophy of Modern Physics
This magisterial study of the philosophy of physics both introduces the subject to the non-specialist and contains many original and important contributions for professionals in the area. Modern physics was born as a part of philosophy and has retained to this day a properly philosophical concern for the clarity and coherence of ideas. Any introduction to the philosophy of physics must therefore focus on the conceptual development of physics itself. This book pursues that development from Galileo and Newton through Maxwell and Boltzmann to Einstein and the founders of quantum mechanics. There is also discussion of important philosophers of physics in the 18th and 19th century and of 20th century debates.