Intellectual Heritage - The Nature of Time

This ten week course will introduce the student to the complex, enigmatic and often elusive nature of time.  The approach taken will be multidisciplinary, historical and multicultural.  Its multidisciplinary aspect will be reflected in the diversity of the fields covered:  physics, medicine, psychology, sociology, religion, art and philosophy.  The study of time in each of these subjects will be explored in chronological order, more or less, starting from the Classical/Renaissance periods and ending up at the present time.  Finally, the multicultural nature of the course will be achieved by the choice of source material:  writings by and about Australian Aborigines, Arabs, ancient Greeks, Indians, Iranians, Japanese, as well as modern Americans and Europeans.  The format of the course will be directed discussion; that is, strong student participation guided by the faculty facilitator.

Outline

  1. The Upward Slope of Time:  The Idea of Progress and the Renaissance

  2. Time and Evolution

  3. Time and the Classical Greeks

  4. Views of Creation and Armageddon

  5. Entropy and Heat Death

  6. Internal Clocks

  7. Time and Oliver Sacks

  8. Relativity and Time Travel

  9. Time Travel Paradoxes

 

 

 

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