PT V —

V. Herstein, Whitehead and the Measurement Problem Gary L. Herstein, Whitehead and the Measurement Problem of Cosmology, Frankfurt / Lancaster, ontos verlag, Process Thought V, 2006. (215 p. ; ISBN 3-937202-95-1 ; 87 €) This book is an exploration of Alfred North Whitehead’s criticisms of, and his constructive alternative to, Einsteinian general relativity. Whitehead’s arguments have suffered from a significant lack of attention and misunderstanding by both the philosophical and scientific communities. On the one hand, criticisms of his ideas —rare enough in their own right— are often predicated upon dubious assumptions. On the other hand, there has been a general failure to see Whitehead’s theory in its true context, as an exemplar of an entire class of proposals, many of which are known to be viable alternatives to the Einsteinian orthodoxy. Because Whitehead’s argument is fully capable of embracing these non-standard yet feasible theories, his philosophy of nature remains a live option to that which dominates most of the physical sciences. By examining the logical characteristics of Whitehead’s arguments, some of the history surrounding the acceptance of Einstein’s conjectures, the essential mathematical and empirical structures of both theories, and a few of the current puzzles in astrophysics, it is shown how Whitehead’s proposal continues to offer both an empirically sound philosophy of nature and a philosophically rigorous grounding for scientifically viable, non-Einsteinian theories of gravity.

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