Without doubt, time has been one of the most discussed topics in the history of philosophy and science. From Greece 's Chronos to modern atomic clocks, what could be more fundamental for human experience than keeping the time? This essay will attempt to tackle the ontological status of time, articulating a two-pronged approach that should force the realist (with respect to time) to admit that presuming that time is a real thing is, at the least, an uncertain position. Most scientists are realists as regards time's existence, and they use time to understand fundamental enterprises ranging from standard kinematics to space-time metaphysics. Indeed, many physicists now argue that time is a real component of the universe, but that it is stationary rather than flowing. This new understanding of time avoids some of the confusion created by maintaining that time "flows." Nevertheless, I will show that neither time taken as a passing thing, nor time taken as a stationary thing, survives criticism from antirealist arguments. The ideas of numerous scientists and philosophers--most notably J. Ellis McTaggart--and some physicists--namely Julian Barbour--are critical here. While disagreeing on the reasons, both maintain one startling position: Time, at least as we commonly conceive of it, is unreal.
"Time to Face Reality: The Unreality of Time Could Very Well Be Real,"
The Catalyst: Vol. 1
, Article 5.
Available at: http://aquila.usm.edu/southernmisscatalyst/vol1/iss2/5