Book Review | Published:

[Short Notices]

Nature volume 140, page 636 (09 October 1937) | Download Citation



So many books have been written on this important subject that one may almost doubt whether anything really new can be said about it. Yet Prof. Ushenko succeeds in being both interesting and new, thanks to his method of treatment of the theory of relativity. To begin with, he wants philosophers to understand what the mathematics of relativity mean: so in Chapters ii and vi he gives a step-by-step deduction of the main equations of relativity. Then he goes on to give a critical account of the meaning of these equations. He bases his discussion on the fact that events are described by dispositional characteristics, and that they must have an essence which is distinct from these characteristics. For him, this essence is a fusion of space with time, thus rejecting physical substance as an alternative category of natural philosophy, and involving an attitude which is antagonistic to the new positivistic tendencies.

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