How are human actions shaped by the materiality of media?
Contemporary media leads us more than ever to an ‘acting at a distance,’ an acting entangled with the materiality of communication and the mediality of transmission. This book explores this crucial phenomenon thereby introducing urgent questions of human interaction, the binding and breaking of time and space, and the entanglement of the material and the immaterial.
Three vivid inquiries deal with histories and theories of mediality and materiality: John Durham Peters looks at episodes of simultaneity and synchronization. Christina Vagt discusses the agency of computer models against the backdrop of aesthetic theories by Henri Bergson and Hans Blumenberg, and Florian Sprenger discusses early electrical transmissions through copper wire and the temporality of instantaneity.
After Physics presents ambitious new essays about some of the deepest questions at the foundations of physics, by the physicist and philosopher David Albert. The book’s title alludes to the close connections between physics and metaphysics, much in evidence throughout these essays. It also alludes to the work of imagining what it would be like for the project of physical science—considered as an investigation into the fundamental laws of nature—to be complete.Albert argues that the difference between the past and the future—traditionally regarded as a matter for metaphysical or conceptual or linguistic or phenomenological analysis—can be understood as a mechanical phenomenon of nature. In another essay he contends that all versions of quantum mechanics that are compatible with the special theory of relativity make it impossible, even in principle, to present the entirety of what can be said about the world as a narrative sequence of “befores” and “afters.” Any sensible and realistic way of solving the quantum-mechanical measurement problem, Albert claims in yet another essay, is ultimately going to force us to think of particles and fields, and even the very space of the standard scientific conception of the world, as approximate and emergent. Novel discussions of the problem of deriving principled limits on what can be known, measured, or communicated from our fundamental physical theories, along with a sweeping critique of the main attempts at making sense of probabilities in many-worlds interpretations of quantum mechanics, round out the collection.
This is a new translation, with introduction, commentary, and an explanatory glossary.
"Sachs's translation and commentary rescue Aristotle's text from the rigid, pedantic, and misleading versions that have until now obscured his thought. Thanks to Sachs's superb guidance, the Physics comes alive as a profound dialectical inquiry whose insights into the enduring questions about nature, cause, change, time, and the 'infinite' are still pertinent today. Using such guided studies in class has been exhilarating both for myself and my students." ––Leon R. Kass, The Committee on Social Thought, University of Chicago
Aristotle’s Physics is the only complete and coherent book we have from the ancient world in which a thinker of the first rank seeks to say something about nature as a whole. For centuries, Aristotle’s inquiry into the causes and conditions of motion and rest dominated science and philosophy. To understand the intellectual assumptions of a powerful world view—and the roots of the Scientific Revolution—reading Aristotle is critical. Yet existing translations of Aristotle’s Physics have made it difficult to understand either Aristotle’s originality or the lasting value of his work.
In this volume in the Masterworks of Discovery series, Joe Sachs provides a new plain-spoken English translation of all of Aristotle’s classic treatise and accompanies it with a long interpretive introduction, a running explication of the text, and a helpful glossary. He succeeds brilliantly in fulfilling the aim of this innovative series: to give the general reader the tools to read and understand a masterwork of scientific discovery.
"I am confident [this book] will become the aurora watcher's bible for many years to come." (Sky & Telescope)
"This is participatory science at its best!" (Midwest Book Review)
"A delightful book, highly recommended." (CHOICE )
"A complete course for the layman with an interest in the northern lights." (Fairbanks Daily News-Miner)
"[Davis] has written the book in a smooth, how-it-works style, and his presentation is remarkably clear. . . . [He] expended much effort on this book, forming from his lifetime of knowledge a coherent and comprehensible picture of the aurora for the non-specialist." (ARCTIC)
"For a comprehensive guide to the northern lights, read Neil Davis's The Aurora." (Small Press Magazine)
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