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Time, Experience, & Experiencing Time

Reading Group - A.A. 2016-2016 - I Semester



Title: Time, Experience, & Experiencing Time. 

Reading Group: Simon Prosser’s Experiencing Time

Convenors: David Ingram & Daria Vitasovic


Confirmed Participants: Davide Bordini, Valerio Buonomo, Samuele Iaquinto, Giuliano Torrengo, Nick Young, Jonathan Tallant (Skype)

Description: Simon Prosser (2016) Experiencing Time, Oxford: Oxford University Press

Blurb from OUP: ‘Our engagement with time is a ubiquitous feature of our lives. We are aware of time on many scales, from the briefest flicker of change to the way our lives unfold over many years. But to what extent does this encounter reveal the true nature of temporal reality? To the extent that temporal reality is as it seems, how do we come to be aware of it? And to the extent that temporal reality is not as it seems, why does it seem that way? These are the central questions addressed by Simon Prosser in Experiencing Time

These questions take on a particular importance in philosophy for two reasons. Firstly, there is a view concerning the metaphysics of time, known as the B-theory of time, according to which the apparently dynamic quality of change, the special status of the present, and even the passage of time are all illusions. Instead, the world is a four-dimensional space-time block, lacking any of the apparent dynamic features of time. If the B-theory is correct, as the book argues, then it must be explained why our experiences seem to tell us otherwise. Secondly, experiences of temporal features such as changes, rates and durations are of independent interest because of certain puzzles that they raise, the solutions to which may shed light on broader issues in the philosophy of mind.’

We propose to read Prosser’s new book in full, chapter-by-chapter, with weekly meetings that begin on 17th October and conclude on 21st November. This reading group is open to all PhD students and, although there will likely be a strong presence from members of the Centre for Philosophy of Time (CPT), an extensive background knowledge of main issues in the philosophy of time will not be assumed. The book begins with an introductory chapter on the metaphysics of time, which we read in our first session and which provides much of the background to inform later discussions.

On 24th November, the CPT will host a 2-day workshop on Temporal Experience (as part of the TEMP-FRAME project) with Simon Prosser, as one of several invited speakers, alongside Valtteri Arstila, Elvira Di Bona, Sylvie Droit-Volet, Christoph Hoerl, Oliver Pooley, and Thomas Sattig.



Proposed Schedule:

1. ‘Introduction: The Metaphysics of Time’ (pp. 1–21)
Monday 17th October, 3.00-4.00pm

2. ‘Experience and the Passage of Time’ (pp. 22–60)
Monday 24th October, 3.00-4.30pm

3. ‘Attitudes to the Past, Present, and Future’ (pp. 61–83)
Monday 31st October, 3.00-4.30pm

4. ‘Experiencing Rates and Durations’ (pp. 84–116)
Monday 7th November, 3.00-4.30pm

5. ‘Is Experience Temporally Extended?’ (pp. 117–159)
Monday 14th November, 3.00-4.30pm

6. ‘Why Does Change Seem Dynamic?’ (pp. 160–186)
‘Moving Through Time, and the Open Future’ (pp. 187–205)

Monday 21st November, 3.00-5.00pm
CPT Workshop: Temporal Experience (24th & 25th November)

11 November 2016
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