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Spaceman Spiff (Space I)

October 1, 2013

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Spaceman Spiff surrounded by space. And lots of it.

What is space?

Not outer space where stars and satellites live – well, not specifically at least. But the stuff between everything around us.

This mysterious final frontier is the place where all objects reside. The area between everything that exists. That weird thing that holds everything from the planet Jupiter, to the air we breathe to the creepy little stinkbug sitting on the mantle. We are all submerged within it and there’s no chance of escape. But what is it? Is it material? If it’s immaterial, how can we hope to learn about it? Does it affect objects within it? Do objects affect it? Our next philosophical foray will be exploring the concept of space. We’ll look at the history and development of space by uncovering how great thinkers, from Ancient Greece to the Modern Era, have all contributed to the modern concept. My first entry will be from Plato, whose greatest contribution was defining the problem and forming just the right questions.

*Note: I’ll basically be discussing the book “Space from Zeno to Einstein” by Nick Huggett. The book includes primary sources from Zeno, Plato, Aristotle, Euclid, Descartes, Newton, Leibniz, Clarke, Berkeley, Kant, Mach, Poincare, and Einstein. Each are followed up with contemporary commentary from the author.

**Here’s a link to “Space from Zeno to Einstein.” It’s well worth the read!
http://mitpress.mit.edu/books/space-zeno-einstein

***Spaceman Spiff is owned by Bill Waterson. I hope he’s not mad I’m using the image. I use it out of my life-long love of Calvin and Hobbes. And because I sometimes overshare, The Calvin and Hobbes Wiki:
http://calvinandhobbes.wikia.com/wiki/Main_Page

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