Spring 2019

Seminar: Philosophy of Time

Listed in: Philosophy, as PHIL-462


Joseph G. Moore (Section 01)


Is time real? If so, are the past and the future as real as the present? (How should we even approach such questions?) And what is time, anyway? Does time exist independently of things in time? Could there be time without change? Could time have a beginning or an end? Time seems linear, and also to have an intrinsic direction or “arrow”? But does it have to be this way? It’s often said that time passes, but if so, how fast does it pass? In what sense is time “open” in the future? Is time travel possible? Do causes have to precede their effects? Finally, should we, and can we reconcile our everyday conceptions of time with the sometimes counter-intuitive conceptions of modern physics?

Over the last hundred years, these questions have received a great deal of attention from scientists and philosophers. This seminar will explore these questions and others about the nature of time. It will be run in conjunction with a speaker series in which theorists present and discuss recent work on the philosophy of time.

Required: Two courses in PHIL or consent of the professor. Limited to 15 students. Spring semester. Professor Moore.

If Overenrolled: Priority will be given to Philosophy majors, seniors, then juniors, etc.


Attention to Writing


2022-23: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Spring 2019