PHIL 22K - Philosophy of time: history and debates

The philosophy of time has been a topic of discussion since the pre-Socratics, and thinking about time has been deeply implicated in our endeavor to understand what the world is really like. For instance, the Greek distinction between Being and Becoming - a temporal distinction as well as an ontological distinction - has been foundational in the development of (western) metaphysics. Given that temporality is a central feature of human experience, a theory of time is also indispensable for epistemological and psychological questions regarding what we may know and how we may know them. This tutorial is an advanced introduction to the philosophy of time. Roughly the first half of the course will be the history of philosophy of time, and roughly the second half of the course will cover contemporary analytic philosophy of time as well as time-related debates in philosophy of physics, philosophy of religion, process philosophy, and philosophy+literature. Questions we'll cover include: Whether time (or the flow of time) is a real part of reality; whether time is a result of our epistemic limitations; whether time is an absolute feature of the world or a relational aspect of things in the world; whether tense and seriality are the same thing; whether literature can capture things about time that philosophy couldn't; and how temporal notions have shaped questions and answers in philosophy of religion.Previous coursework in philosophy strongly encouraged.
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