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A Brief History of the Philosophy of Time Paperback – July 1, 2013

ISBN-13: 978-0199301089 ISBN-10: 0199301085 Edition: 1st

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 200 pages
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press; 1 edition (July 1, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0199301085
  • ISBN-13: 978-0199301089
  • Product Dimensions: 8.1 x 0.7 x 5.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #65,183 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review


Bardon's A Brief History of the Philosophy of Time provides an engaging, clear, and succinct introduction to the philosophy of time. It is ideal as an introduction to the topic for undergraduates or, used in conjunction with sources it cites, in a more advanced class for postgraduates... Bardon consistently presents conceptually difficult ideas within philosophy and physics in a way that is accessible to undergraduate students. A particularly nice feature of Bardon's text is its integration of history with contemporary debates... I highly recommend this book as a text to introduce students to the central issues in the philosophy of time."
--The Philosophical Quarterly


"Adrian Bardon manages to cover a truly impressive array of issues in the philosophy of time ranging from an overview of some of the historical precursors of current ideas to a discussion of the most recent developments in the areaEL. Bardon does an excellent job of making the issues thoroughly accessible whilst at the same time not shying away from the interesting and more difficult questions. Because he manages to walk this tightrope so well, the book would make an excellent resource for undergraduates, but would be equally at home in the bag of a graduate student."--Kristie Miller, Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews


"The book is a real winner. It's accessible, lively and packed with good philosophy. More than that, despite being introductory, it really is on the cutting edge of philosophy of time."--Craig Callender, University of California, San Diego, and editor of the Oxford Handbook of Philosophy of Time and author of Introducing Time


"Bardon has written a superb little book on the philosophy of time. Though this book is, as tits title states, a brief history, it is packed with marvelously lucid explanations of the central problems and issues relevant to the subject, including philosophy, physics, and phenomenology. Highly recommended." -L.B. McHenry, California State University - Northridge, CHOICE


About the Author


Adrian Bardon is Associate Professor of Philosophy at Wake Forest University, where he teaches courses on the philosophy of space and time and the history of philosophy. He is the author of numerous scholarly articles on time and the history of philosophy; he is also the editor of The Future of the Philosophy of Time (2012) and co-editor of A Companion to the Philosophy of Time (2013).

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Borys Jagielski on December 10, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition
In this slim book Adrian Bardon discusses one of the largest, possibly *the* largest metaphysical issue: time. Surprisingly enough, his conclusions do not suggest that the riddle of time is unsolvable. On the contrary, the intricate questions presented in the Introduction - "What is the nature of our experience of time? What gives time its direction? Is travel in time possible? Is the future unwritten, and do our choices matter? Did time begin, and, if so, how?" (p. 2) - get directly addressed and rather unambigously answered in the subsequent chapters. If you wish to believe that the "flow" of time constitutes a conceptual enigma that is impossible to penetrate with our feeble human minds, "A Brief History of the Philosophy of Time" will disappoint you.

The title is somewhat misleading. Bardon does not limit himself to the philosophical method as it is traditionally understood. His approach is eclectic and energetic: The author combines metaphysical reasoning with results from physics and cognitive science. That applaudable strategy allows the author to cover a lot of ground in only 180 pages. A more suitable title would be thus "A Brief History of the Concept of Time" ("A Brief History of Time" is already taken).

Bardon's story starts in the usual place: in Ancient Greece, with the Eleatic paradoxes of motion and change, and Aristotle's answers to Parmenides and Zeno. Augustine is mentioned in the passing, and then we jump straight to the modern period with Locke's and Kant's epistemological proposals concerning the origin of our temporal concepts. We reach the twentieth century already in the third chapter.
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Format: Paperback
A fundamental flaw of this, and other, books on time is this - if time has no causal impact, then what is the agreed starting point for any explanation of it? If time is just a word (i.e. it has no real outcomes, no empirical evidence, to anchor our definitions around) then its meaning is based on our collective usage only (what else?); but no one ever seems to bother looking in the dictionary when writing about time - including in this otherwise interesting book.

If you do, and you break down the many varied uses of the word time you can separate them all into two distinct core meanings:-
1. Time is an abstract referencing framework for calibrating and indexing events (and intervals i.e. change), and
2. Time is also a non-specific collective term (mass noun) which refers to events (i.e. a non-specific collection of events).
So events determine time (events are the underlying fundamental). And that makes time explainable outside of itself – one of these two definitions will always hold – it is very powerful.

And as interval [or period, duration] and persistence can be explained by reference to events (and not to time) that makes time a redundant word.

Too many assertions are made about time by supposedly eminent academics, whilst apparently still in search of its meaning. How does that work? How can they make an assertion about something they’ve either not yet fully defined, or empirically evidenced?
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10 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Richard Miller on July 26, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book is an outstandingly clear and comprehensive account of the fundamental views about the nature of time that have been pondered in the Western philosophical tradition. Essential reading for anyone interested in time and the other metaphysical concepts that time involves.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Detmolders on January 19, 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
As the title suggests, this is a brief review of the various understandings of time. I would have enjoyed a greater investigation of the psychology of time, but this book has given me a great frame of reference for further exploration of the subject.
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