What is Time? This series aims to make learning about philosophy as easy as possible by bringing together the best videos, podcasts, and articles from across the internet and allowing you to choose the type of content that best suits your learning style. Simply choose one of following links to get started:
If you want a comprehensive overview of the idea of time:
- Read the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy article on Time. However, you should keep in mind that the Stanford Encyclopedia in often quite technical and this article may be difficult for beginners. It’s also quite long at around 7000 words. Here’s a short excerpt that introduces the idea of time:
“What if one day things everywhere ground to a halt? What if birds froze in mid-flight, people froze in mid-sentence, and planets and subatomic particles alike froze in mid-orbit? What if all change, throughout the entire universe, completely ceased for a period of, say, one year? Is such a thing possible?
If the answer to this last question is Yes — if it is possible for there to be a period of time during which nothing changes, anywhere (except, perhaps, for the pure passage of time itself, if there is such a thing) — then it is possible that a worldwide “freeze” will occur between the time you finish reading this sentence and the time you start the next sentence. In fact, if it’s possible for there to be a period of time without change, then it may well be that a million years have passed since you finished reading the last sentence.
The question of whether there could be time without change has traditionally been thought to be closely tied to the question of whether time exists independently of the events that occur in time. . . .”
If you’re looking for a somewhat shorter and and more engaging introduction:
- Read Adrian Bardon’s article: Does Time Pass? [800 words]
If you’d prefer a video introduction:
If you prefer audio and podcasts:
If you’d just like to casually browse a few quotes:
If you’d like to get more philosophy in your life, follow us on Facebook or Twitter or enter your email below to get a quote/passage from a classic work of philosophy delivered to your inbox each day. They include key passages from Plato’s Republic, Aristotle’s Nichomachean Ethics, Marcus Aurelius’ Meditations, John Stuart Mill’s On Liberty, Nietzsche’s Beyond Good and Evil, and many more. Each passage is paired with a link to a beginner friendly article, video, or podcast, so you can easily learn more about that day’s idea. The goal is to make it easier for everyone to get a little bit more philosophy into their life.