The Dance of Time: Is the Present an Illusion?

Hartwig HKD Flickr

Since we can’t directly access the past or the future, the present seems to be all we’ve got. Yet Derrida denied the existence of the present. And physicists argue the present has no special status. Is the present an illusion? Or do we find in the present everything that is of value?

Julian Barbour: 

is a British physicist with research interests in quantum gravity and the history of science.

Since receiving his Ph.D. degree on the foundations of Einstein’s general theory of relativity at the University of Cologne in 1968, Barbour has supported himself and his family without an academic position, working part-time as a translator. He resides near Banbury, England.

Joseph Diekemper:
Lecturer in Philosophy at Queen’s University


Alok Jha:
Alok Jha is a physics graduate from Imperial College London and has been a journalist (working for the Guardian, BBC TV and radio and ITV News) for more than 15 years. He has reported on everything from space to stem cells, has broadcast live from Antarctica and has flown in a zero-gravity plane normally used to train astronauts. He is the author of two books about science and is working on a third, a human biography of water.

Joanna Kavenna:
Joanna Kavenna grew up in various parts of Britain, and has also lived in the USA, France, Germany, Scandinavia and the Baltic States. Her first book The Ice Museum was about travelling in the remote North, among other things. Her second was a novel called Inglorious, which won the Orange Award for New Writing. It was followed by a novel called The Birth of Love, which was longlisted for the Orange Prize. Her latest novel is a satire called Come to the Edge. Kavenna’s writing has appeared in the New Yorker, the London Review of Books, the Guardian andObserver, the Times Literary Supplement, the International Herald Tribune, the Spectator and theTelegraph, among other publications. She has held writing fellowships at St Antony’s College, Oxford and St John’s College, Cambridge. She was named as one of the Telegraph’s 20 ‘Writers under 40’ in 2010.

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