Misschien viel het je al op, dat er bovenaan mijn blog een tabblad is bijgekomen met als titel “Course: Philosophy of Time“. Volgende week start er namelijk een gloednieuwe cursus over filosofie van de tijd, die ik samen met Pieter Thyssen zal doceren.
We schreven samen een Engelstalig blogbericht om de cursus aan te kondigen, die Pieter op zijn blog The Life of Psi plaatste en dat ik hieronder plaats.
It’s About Time!
KU Leuven Introduces a Mind-Boggling Course on the Nature of Time
“We’re all time travellers!” quipped Carl Sagan.
After all, we’re all moving into the future at a steady rate of one second per second. Agreed, it sounds like an obvious platitude, but does Sagan’s quote even make sense? What does it actually mean for time to pass at a rate of one second per second? And are we really moving into the future, or is the future somehow ‘moving into us’? What is time anyways?
Humbled and perplexed by the mystery of time, the medieval theologian and philosopher St. Augustine of Hippo famously answered: “If no one asks me, I know; but if I wanted to explain it to him who asks, I plainly do not know!”
Sixteen centuries later, anno 2015, scientists and philosophers alike are still hard-pressed to tell us what exactly time is. But this, of course, doesn’t mean there hasn’t been any progress since the dark ages!
Clearly then, the time is ripe to take stock of our current understanding about the nature of time and why it matters. The upcoming semester turns out to be especially appropriate to do so, for three reasons:
First, on September 30, the Dutch time travel movie Terug naar morgen will be released. The director, Lukas Bossuyt, studied engineering at KU Leuven and decided to shoot his first movie here in Leuven and in the physics labs in Heverlee!
And third, on November 25, the world will celebrate the centennial of Einstein’s theory of general relativity. If only we could go back to November 1915 and witness Einstein’s speech at the Prussian Academy of Science in which he first showcased his field equations!
For all of these reasons, and because we are both fascinated by time, we are organising a brand new course on the nature of time, open to all Ma-students and starting September 2015! But more on that below.