Seminar on History and Philosophy of Science

Friday, March 30, 2012
4:00pm to 5:00pm
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Dabney Hall 110 (Treasure Room)
Stitching the World Together: Why Time Seems to Flow
Craig Callender, University of California, San Diego,
The idea that time flows is firmly entrenched in the manifest conception of time. Such is the strength of this feeling that many distinguished thinkers assume that positing a basic physical or metaphysical flow is the only action fully respecting it. I'll argue that this is a mistake. The cosmologist Gold emphasized that we need to explain the flow, asserting that there can be a self-consistent set of rules that would give a beast this kind of phoney picture of time." While I don't think flow need be illusory -- instead it could be like color -- I want to take up this interdisciplinary explanatory project. Appealing to the hard facts of life in a relativistic world, our environments, and our psychology, I develop a theory of why "beasts" like us assert that time flows.
For more information, please contact Sinikka Elvington by phone at Ext. 1724 or by email at elvington@hss.caltech.edu.