Does time have a direction? Do the past and the future exist? Does the present move? These are some of the questions asked in the philosophy of time. Explore them together with dr. Victor Gijsbers.
"I understand perfectly well what time is... as long as nobody asks me to explain it!" said Saint Augustine. It is easy to sympathise with him. On the one hand, nothing seems as self-evident and obvious as time. But on the other hand, as soon as you start asking questions about it, it becomes very mysterious. Does time have a direction? What is the difference between past and future? Do they even exist? Does the present move from past to future? If so, how fast? Can the future be changed? These are some of the questions asked in the philosophy of time. We will explore them in this lecture, as we focus on the tension between common sense, philosophical reflection and scientific theory.
This lecture series, titled “On Time”, reflects on time from the perspectives of linguistics, philosophy, biology, and cultural anthropology. Time is elusive. Some people have it, others are always running short of it. Sometimes it flies by and yet there are periods which seem to drag on and on. The fascinating thing is that we cannot observe or measure time directly; we can only infer it by changes we experience. How can we actually understand this intriguing and complex concept? Explore divergent ways of approaching time and see how different disciplines explain the human perception of time. Are different realms at odds with each other with regard to their view of time, or do they merely reflect different and complimentary ways of observing the same?
About Victor Gijsbers
Victor Gijsbers is researcher and lecturer at the Institute for Philosophy at Leiden University. His research concentrates on the philosophy of explanation and understanding, as well as on the intersection of philosophy of science and metaphysics. In the latter domain, he specifically focuses on the topics of causation, time and time asymmetry.