Tuesday, October 08, 2013

The New Great Time War - The Philosopher's Zone

From ABC's Radio National (Australia), the episode of The Philosopher's Zone tackles the subject of time. Recently, Lee Smolin's Time Reborn: From the Crisis in Physics to the Future of the Universe has questioned the orthodox view of time as outlined in physics, i.e., that time is an illusion. Smolin argues that time is, indeed, quite as real as we perceive it to be, although not in the ways we believe.

This discussion touches base with the book, and then some.

The new great time war

Sunday 6 October 2013

The nature of time has been in dispute for millennia—now a new front has opened in that ancient quarrel. (Mark Swallow/Getty)

An ancient feud has re-emerged. Over two millennia ago Heraclitus declared that all is flowing: you can’t step in the same river twice. Parmenides, on the other hand, thought that time is an illusion and all is fixed and permanent. He would fare well in the modern age where spacetime has won the intellectual day. Or has it? A new challenge is reigniting the Heraclitian view of the cosmos, and attempting to put the seconds, minutes and hours back into the arrow of time.


  • Kristie Miller, Director, Centre for Time, University of Sydney 
  • Roberto Unger, Roscoe Pound Professor of Law, Harvard Law School 
  • Craig Callender, Chair of Philosophy, University of California, San Diego 
  • Huw Price, Bertrand Russell Professor of Philosophy, University of Cambridge

Further Information Watch Craig Callender on ABC TV Big Ideas


Presenter: Joe Gelonesi
Producer: Diane Dean
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