Craig Callender (UC, San Diego): “The Flow of Time: Stitching the World Together”

As we navigate through life, we employ a model of time as flowing. Despite its importance to us, physics suggests that this conception of time is fundamentally flawed, dismissing it as an illusion. Before we can dismiss the flow, however, we need to explain the “self-consistent set of rules that would give a beast this kind of phoney picture of time” (Gold). Here I take up this interdisciplinary project, drawing on psychology, biology and physics to develop a theory of why “beasts” like us feel that time flows.

Craig Callender is a Professor of Philosophy and Co-Director of the Institute for Practical Ethics at UC San Diego. He specialises in the foundations of physics and has teaching interests in environmental ethics.


Along with Sabina Leonelli from the University of Exeter, Professor Callender was jointly awarded the 2018 Lakatos Award. This lecture was delivered as part of his award ceremony.