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::: center home >> events >> lunchtime >> 2008-09 >> abstracts

Tuesday, 31 March 2009
“‘Topologies’ of Time in the 1920s: Lewin, Carnap, Reichenbach”
Flavia Padovani, U. Geneva
12:05 pm, 817R Cathedral of Learning

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Abstract: In the early 1920s, Kurt Lewin, Rudolf Carnap and Hans Reichenbach developed three different but interrelated accounts of a “topology” of time. The notion of genidentity plays a fundamental role in all three cases. Common to these accounts is also the idea that time order can be shown to be founded on certain structural properties of the world, but this same aim is pursued in different fashions. This paper examines the analogies and the differences in these three early versions of the topology of time and shows how, assigning genidentity a specific meaning, the three constructions reveal a different level of ontological complexity one with respect to the other. Finally, the fate of the concept of genidentity is followed in Reichenbach’s later work, and from there to some more recent accounts

Revised 4/28/09 - Copyright 2009