Honors 229F The Problem of Time: Puzzles about Time in Philosophy, Literature, and Film TuTh 11-12:15
David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
Learn more about PhilPapers
In this course we will examine several philosophical puzzles concerning time. We all seem to experience time in a very fundamental and direct way. Yet once we begin to reflect on what time really is, it is easy to feel as puzzled as St Augustine was, who wrote: “If no one asks me, I know what [time] is. If I wish to explain it to him who asks me, I do not know.” The first set of issues we will discuss concern the question whether time is ‘real.’ Time appears to consist of past, present and future. But do the past and the future exist in the same way as the present or is only the present real? Does time ‘flow’? In what ways is time different from space? What would it be to ‘spatialize’ time? Next we will ask whether certain views of time imply that there can be no freedom of the will. One might worry that if facts about the future (including facts about what I will do tomorrow) already existed in the same way as facts about the present exist, then I could not be free to choose what I will do. After all, how can I be free to decide to skip class tomorrow, if it is ‘already’ a fact today that I will attend class? What, if anything, is the connection between various views of time and ‘fatalism’? The third topic we will discuss is time travel. First we will ask whether time travel is a conceptual possibility. As we will see, there are certain conceptual puzzles associated with the possibility of time travel. For example, one might think that if time travel is possible, then I should be able to travel back in time and kill my father before the date of my conception. But this scenario seems to lead to a contradiction. Some have taken considerations such as these to argue that the very idea of time travel is incoherent. Is this right? If not, why not? Then we will look at what the theory of relativity says about the nature of time in general and about the physical possibility of time travel more specifically. Finally we will examine several issues concerning the asymmetry of time..
|Keywords||No keywords specified (fix it)|
No categories specified
(categorize this paper)
Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
|Through your library||
References found in this work BETA
No references found.
Citations of this work BETA
No citations found.
Similar books and articles
Douglas Kutach (2013). Time Travel and Time Machines. In Adrian Bardon & Heather Dyke (eds.), A Companion to the Philosophy of Time. Blackwell.
Nick Smith (2005). Why Would Time Travelers Try to Kill Their Younger Selves? The Monist 88 (3):388-395.
David Wittenberg (2013). Time Travel: The Popular Philosophy of Narrative. Fordham University Press.
William Grey (1999). Troubles with Time Travel. Philosophy 74 (1):55-70.
Steven D. Hales (2010). No Time Travel for Presentists. Logos and Episteme 1 (2):353-360.
John Earman (1967). On Going Backward in Time. Philosophy of Science 34 (3):211-222.
Kurt Stocker (2012). The Time Machine in Our Mind. Cognitive Science 36 (3):385-420.
D. H. Mellor (1998). Real Time Ii. Routledge.
Theodore Sider (2002). Time Travel, Coincidences and Counterfactuals. Philosophical Studies 110 (2):115 - 138.
Phil Dowe (2000). The Case for Time Travel. Philosophy 75 (3):441-451.
Heather Dyke (2005). The Metaphysics and Epistemology of Time Travel. Think 9 (9):43-52.
Manolo Martínez (2011). Travelling in Branching Time. Disputatio 4 (31):59-75.
Rupert Read (2011). Why There Cannot Be Any Such Thing as “Time Travel”. Philosophical Investigations 35 (2):138-153.
Chris Smeenk & Christian Wuthrich (2011). Time Travel and Time Machines. In Craig Callender (ed.), The Oxford Handbook of Philosophy of Time. Oxford University Press.
Added to index2010-12-22
Total downloads10 ( #154,226 of 1,102,060 )
Recent downloads (6 months)1 ( #306,606 of 1,102,060 )
How can I increase my downloads?