Physics and the Ultimate Significance of Time

Bohm, Prigogine, and Process Philosophy

Edited by David Ray Griffin

Subjects: Philosophy
Paperback : 9780887061158, 338 pages, November 1985
Hardcover : 9780887061134, 338 pages, December 1985

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Table of contents


1. Introduction: Time and the Fallacy of Misplaced Concreteness

David Ray Griffin

I Historical Backgrounds

2. Evolutionary Epistemology, Durational Metaphysics, and Theoretical Physics: Capek and the Bergsonian Tradition

Andrew G. Bjelland

3. Dynamic, Asymmetrical, Internal Relations: Some Questions for Andrew Bjelland

Pete A. Y. Gunter

4. Response to Pete Gunter

Andrew G. Bjelland

5. Time in the Earlier and Later Whitehead

Patrick Hurley 6. Contemporaneity, Knowledge, and God: A Comment on Hurley's Paper

Frederick Ferré

7. Time, Events, and Substance: Comments on Hurley and Whitehead

Peter Miller

8. Whitehead's Later View on Space-Time: A Response to Patrick Hurley

John B. Cobb, Jr.

II Bohm, Prigogine, and Process Philosophy

9. Bohm and Whitehead on Wholeness, Freedom, Causality, and Time

David Ray Griffin

10. Bohm and Time

John B. Cobb, Jr.

11. Bohm and Process Philosophy: A Response to Griffin and Cobb

Ian G. Barbour

12. Reply to Comments of John Cobb and David Griffin

David Bohm

13. Time, the Implicate Order and Pre-Space


14. A Response to David Bohm's "Time, the Implicate Order and Pre-Space"

Robert John Russell

15. Time and Higher-Order Wholeness: A Response to David Bohm

Steven M. Rosen

16. An Example of Bohm's"Implicate Order"

Crockett L. Grabbe

17. Irreversibility and Space-Time Structure

Ilya Prigogine

18. Far-from-Equilibrium Thermodynamics and Process Thought

Joseph E. Earley

19. Some Questions for Ilya Prigogine

Pete A. Y. Gunter

20. Response to Pete Gunter

Ilya Prigogine

21. Comments on Ilya Prigogine's Program

David Bohm

22. Einstein Time and Process Time

Henry P. Stapp

23. Process Time and Static Time: A Response to Henry Stapp

Tim Eastman

24. Physics and Metaphysics: Henry Stapp on Time

William B. Jones

25. Comments on Henry Stapp's "Einstein Time and Process Time"

David Bohm

26. On "Becoming" as a Fifth Dimension

Peter Miller

27. A Short Comment on Henry Stapp's Contribution

Ilya Prigogine


Philosophical Overviews

28. The Unreality and Indeterminacy of the Future in the Light of Contemporary Physics

Milic Capek

29. On the Ultimate Significance of Time for Truth, Goodness, and the Sacred

Frederick Ferré

Notes on Contributors

Name Index

Challenges the conventional view of the nature of time.


Physics and the Ultimate Significance of Time challenges the conventional view of the nature of time. The dominant twentieth-century view, supported by Einstein and many of the founders of quantum theory, implies that time is ultimately unreal. Several new schools of thought reject the notion that physics is temporally symmetrical, and that time could just as easily run backwards. Combating this conventional view of time, this book offers three new viewpoints and explores their apparent differences.

Nobel prize winner Ilya Prigogine argues that irreversibility and asymmetry are more fundamental than reversibility and symmetry. David Bohm notes that while conventional notions about physics and the worldview it suggests have been based upon exclusive attention to the 'explicate order,' quite another view results when primary attention is focused on the 'implicate order. ' And the growing school of process philosophy based on Alfred North Whitehead's work holds that irreversible temporal relations characterize the most 'elementary' components of the world, implying the heretical view that time exists for a single electron or atom.

David Ray Griffin is Professor of Philosophy and Religion at the School of Theology at Claremont and Claremont Graduate School and Executive Director of the Center for Process Studies.