The Western Ontario Series in Philosophy of Science

Euclid's Heritage. Is Space Three-Dimensional?

Authors: Janich, P.

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About this book

We live in a space, we get about in it. We also quantify it, we think of it as having dimensions. Ever since Euclid's ancient geometry, we have thought of bodies occupying parts of this space (including our own bodies), the space of our practical orientations (our 'moving­ abouts'), as having three dimensions. Bodies have volume specified by measures of length, breadth and height. But how do we know that the space we live in has just these three dimensions? It is theoreti­ cally possible that some spaces might exist that are not correctly described by Euclidean geometry. After all, there are the non­ Euclidian geometries, descriptions of spaces not conforming to the axioms and theorems of Euclid's geometry. As one might expect, there is a history of philosophers' attempts to 'prove' that space is three-dimensional. The present volume surveys these attempts from Aristotle, through Leibniz and Kant, to more recent philosophy. As you will learn, the historical theories are rife with terminology, with language, already tainted by the as­ sumed, but by no means obvious, clarity of terms like 'dimension', 'line', 'point' and others. Prior to that language there are actions, ways of getting around in the world, building things, being interested in things, in the more specific case of dimensionality, cutting things. It is to these actions that we must eventually appeal if we are to understand how science is grounded.

Table of contents (9 chapters)

Table of contents (9 chapters)

Buy this book

eBook $139.00
price for USA in USD (gross)
  • ISBN 978-94-015-8096-0
  • Digitally watermarked, DRM-free
  • Included format: EPUB, PDF
  • ebooks can be used on all reading devices
  • Immediate eBook download after purchase
Hardcover $179.99
price for USA in USD
  • ISBN 978-0-7923-2025-8
  • Free shipping for individuals worldwide
  • Usually dispatched within 3 to 5 business days.
Softcover $179.99
price for USA in USD
  • ISBN 978-90-481-4217-0
  • Free shipping for individuals worldwide
  • Usually dispatched within 3 to 5 business days.
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Bibliographic Information

Bibliographic Information
Book Title
Euclid's Heritage. Is Space Three-Dimensional?
Authors
Translated by
Zook, D.
Series Title
The Western Ontario Series in Philosophy of Science
Series Volume
52
Copyright
1992
Publisher
Springer Netherlands
Copyright Holder
Springer Science+Business Media B.V.
eBook ISBN
978-94-015-8096-0
DOI
10.1007/978-94-015-8096-0
Hardcover ISBN
978-0-7923-2025-8
Softcover ISBN
978-90-481-4217-0
Series ISSN
1566-659X
Edition Number
1
Number of Pages
XI, 231
Additional Information
Originally published in German
Topics