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The New Immortality Paperback – March 1, 2007

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 160 pages
  • Publisher: Kessinger Publishing, LLC (March 1, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1432578804
  • ISBN-13: 978-1432578800
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.4 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8.5 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,394,593 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Format: Hardcover
As the Introduction by J.B. Priestley says, this book is rather more accessible than the author's two previous books - An Experiment with Time and The Serial Universe. The focus of attention is again `time'. John William Dunne was an Anglo-Irish philosopher who trained as a mathematician and aeronautical engineer. He was ahead of his time in recognizing the significance of the new quantum physics, but his is not a name we hear mentioned very often these days. He also realized how quantum physics contrasted (conflicted?) with Newtonian physics based on materialism and determinism.

The author begins this book with a criticism of what he says is the prevalent outlook of the time of materialism and pessimism at the then newly emerging philosophy of existentialism. Chapter 2 of the book moves into a discussion of the processes of abstraction that allow us to make sense of the material world and thence introduction of Dunne's favourite topic - serialism. Applying the idea of abstraction to the human individual we start to examine what exactly we mean by our `self'. We are immediately confronted by what Dunne calls the `double aspect' of ourselves - as subject and object - and of the material world as `material' but as it really is according to the theories of quantum physics - waves of energy and force fields. Whatever we think or observe calls for our `attention': our knowledge of the world is both sensory and intuitive. If we have difficulty in considering any portion of space as empty, then surely the same should be said of time?

We have now reached Chapter 7 and the remaining ten chapters of the book go on to explore aspects of these same themes. The language in which the Dunne books are written takes a bit of getting used to and the underlying concepts sometimes need to be teased out, but there is much food for thought here. There is no index or further reading list - but this is not that kind of book.
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