Open Course «Time and Time Travel»

    From 5th of November until 27th of December 2018 open course “Time and Time Travel” will be taught at the School of Advanced Studies. The course is open, so everybody is welcome. Participants will receive a certificate of the course completion issued by SAS if they attend regularly.

    Tuesday and Thursday from 7 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. The course is taught in English. Free and open admission.

    Time has always made philosophers wonder and will continue to do so until the end of time. For although our everyday conception of time might seem unproblematic, once we ask questions about the nature of time we soon realize it is an endless source of puzzlement. Time travelers can help us. They travel through time and they can tell us what time is like, or maybe they will just generate further puzzles about time.

    This open course is an introduction to some issues related to the philosophical debates around time and time travel. On the one hand, philosophy of time can shed some light on whether time travel is possible and how it would look like. On the other hand, thinking about time travel can enhance our understanding of time. While dealing with time and time travel, we will also address issues such as: causation, identity over time, changing the past, time loops, fate, and free will.

    Giacomo Andreoletti received his PhD in Philosophy from the University of Milan in 2017. During the Academic Year 2015-16, he was visiting scholar at Columbia University (New York). So far his research has focused around issues on the metaphysics of time, time travel and the problem of free will. A list of publications can be found here.

    Syllabus

    • Nov. 6: Philosophy of Time
      A primer on some philosophical issues on the nature of time
    • Nov. 8: Change and Time
      A paradox about how material objects change through time
    • Nov. 13: Past, Present, and Future
      Three different theories of the ontology of time
    • Nov. 15: How do we know that we live in the Present?
      …and other problems in the ontology of time
    • Nov. 20: Time Travel
      Is time travel possible? Oddities and paradoxes of time travel
    • Nov. 22: Causal Loops
      What happens when a time traveler from the future influences the past?
    • Nov. 27: The Grandfather Paradox
      Erasing the causes of your existence by means of time travel
    • Nov. 29: Time Travel and Freedom
      What time travelers can and cannot do
    • Dec. 4: Time travel and the Growing Block
      Time traveling in a universe that grows
    • Dec. 6: Time Travel and the Moving Spotlight
      Time traveling when time is two-dimensional
    • Dec. 11: Beings outside time
      An unusual perspective on time
    • Dec. 13: The logic of future contingents
      The problem of future contingents: how to make sense of our claims about the future
    • Dec. 18: Time and Change
      A thought experiment that challenges the view that change is necessary for time
    • Dec. 20: How (not) to get funds for your time machine project
      A puzzle about your promising time machine project
    • Dec. 25: Some further paradoxes of time travel
    • Dec. 27: Concluding discussion: the nature of time and time travel