Experience, Action and the Metaphysics of Time

June 26, 2012
St Chad’s College, Durham University

United Kingdom

View the Call For Papers


  • Department of Philosophy, Durham University
  • The Mind Association


David Cockburn
University of Wales Trinity St. David
Barry Dainton
University of Liverpool
Robin Le Poidevin
University of Leeds
Nathan Oaklander
University of Michigan - Flint

Topic areas

Talks at this conference

Add a talk


The debate between proponents of the A-theory and the B-theory is a familiar one, conducted across a range of metaphysical issues (truthmakers, propositions, change). Our everyday experiences, such as of perceiving, acting, and undergoing emotions, clearly involve both a temporal dimension and an awareness of time. But do the different kinds of experience support either metaphysical theory of time?

For instance, for an action to be rational, it often requires a tensed awareness of certain facts (that the meeting is about to start now; that I am late for it). Many emotions seem to have a temporal orientation, in that they are only appropriate as regards events in the past (grief) or future (fear). Our perception of things and events, as opposed to imagining or remembering them, is often thought to have a present-tensed aspect. And the flowing of experiences through time itself seems to require a sense of what is happening at this present moment.  

In each of these cases it can be asked if this experience can only be explained by appeal to irreducibly tensed facts, or if it can be accounted for by a tenseless theory. Although these issues have been previously discussed, the matter remains unsettled and we believe it deserves renewed consideration in light of advances in the theories of action, emotion, perception and the self (for example, the increased recognition of the variety of ways in which an emotion can be taken to be appropriate or not).

Provisional schedule  

9.00 – 9.30 Registration  

9:30 – 10:45 Robin Le Poidevin (University of Leeds) 

‘Stopped Clocks, Silent Telephones and Sense Data’  

10.45 – 11.00 Coffee  

11.00 – 11:40 Allan Hazlett (University of Edinburgh) 

‘Living Well and Time’s Arrow’  

11.40 – 12.20 Olley Pearson (Durham University) 

Title tbc

12.20 – 13.30 Lunch  

13.30 – 14.45 David Cockburn (University of Wales, Trinity Saint David)

‘Experience, Metaphysics and Practice’

14.45 – 15:00 Coffee

15.00 – 15.40 Aaron Segal (University of Notre Dame)

‘On What Temporally Extended Experience can Teach Humeans’    

15.40 – 16.20 Valdi Ingthorsson (Lund University)

‘Temporality in Experience, Thought and Reality’

16.20 – 16:30 Coffee  

16.30 – 17.45 Nathan Oaklander (University of Michigan-Flint)

‘Temporal Experience and the R-theory’

Registration for this event is now open: please contact either Donnchadh O’Conaill (donnchadh.o’[email protected]) or Olley Pearson ([email protected]) to indicate your interest. Please let us know if you have any particular dietary requirements. The deadline for registration is June 16th.  

The conference dinner will be held on Monday June 25th in Durham. Please let us know by the registration deadline if you wish to attend. The registration fee is £5, which can be paid by cheque or cash. Cheques should be made payable to 'Durham University' and should be sent to:

Experience, Action, and the Metaphysics of Time,

Department of Philosophy,
Durham University,
50 Old Elvet,
Durham, DH1 3HN,
United Kingdom  

Supporting material

Add supporting material (slides, programs, etc.)




June 16, 2012, 10:00am BST

Who is attending?

No one has said they will attend yet.

Will you attend this event?

Let us know so we can notify you of any change of plan.

RSVPing on PhilEvents is not sufficient to register for this event.