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Notes to Chapter 1

  1. Confessions, Book XI.14. Augustine (1912), p. 239.

  2. The View from Nowhere is Nagel's 1986 book.

  3. See Williams (1951), Smart (1955, 1963), Grünbaum (1973), and Mellor (1981), for example.

  4. A good recent discussion of these issues, with some references to earlier work, is that of Horwich (1987), pp. 33--36.

  5. See Davies (1974), p. 176, (1995), pp. 208--13, and Sachs (1987).

  6. As we shall see, a good case can be made for the view that the basic puzzle lies in cosmology---in particular, in the question why the universe had very low entropy, early in its history. It has been suggested that the asymmetry of the neutral kaon can help with other cosmological puzzles, such as why there seems to be more matter than antimatter in the universe---see Davies (1995), p. 213, for example---but the issue of a possible connection with the low-entropy start remains unclear.

  7. Il Saggiotore, from a passage quoted by E. A. Burtt (1954), p. 85. Similar thoughts had been voiced much earlier. Democritus is said to have held that reality is simply a matter of "atoms and the void," and that all else is "by convention." But as Burtt emphasizes, Galileo's version of the doctrine introduces a new distinction between the objective realm of concern to mathematical science, on the one hand, and the subjective realm of the secondary qualities, on the other: "In the course of translating this distinction of primary and secondary into terms suited to the new mathematical interpretation of nature, we have the first stage in the reading of man quite out of the real and primary realm" (Burtt 1954, p. 89, italics in the original).

  8. This is envisaged in a number of contemporary cosmological models.