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Department of Philosophy

Time in Twentieth and Twenty-first Century Philosophy

Conference 11-12th Sept 2017, University of Durham

What is time? Is the past real? Does the present really move? These questions are debated by contemporary metaphysicians of time, and the debates are informed by work on time that occurred in the twentieth century, by philosophers such as J. M. E. McTaggart, Henri Bergson, C. D. Broad, Susan Stebbing, Martin Heidegger, Samuel Alexander, J. J. C. Smart, and Arthur Prior.

Two groups of thinkers are working on these kinds of issues - contemporary metaphysics of time, and historians of time in twentieth century philosophy - and this conference will bring both groups together. The major part of the conference will allow cutting edge metaphysicians to share their work with cutting edge historians of philosophy. The minor part of the conference will explore ways that historians and philosophers of time can achieve impact beyond the academy.

Conference Registration

The conference is free to attend. However, to manage numbers, we asked that people registered to attend by 28 August. Registration has now closed, as have bookings for the conference dinner (people who have already booked can see details here). Unfortunately, late bookings can't be accepted.

For further information on how to get to Durham, please see the bottom of this page.

For any general queries about the conference, please email the conference assistant Xi-Yang Guo [xi-yang.guo at]

Conference Programme

Day 1: Connecting Time in Twentieth and Twenty-first Century Philosophy (Monday Sept 11th)

Session I. Chair: Robin Hendry

09:00 Robin Le Poidevin “What was McTaggart's C-series?”
09:45 David Ingram “Space, Time, and Haecceity”
10:30 Tina Rock “The Time of Becoming Beings”

11:15 Coffee break

Session II. Chair: Matthew Eddy

11:30 Jack Shardlow “A Tale of Two Williams”
12:15 William Mander “British Idealist conceptions of time and timelessness”
13:00 Lunch break

Session III. Chair: Sara L. Uckelman

14:00 Daniel Deasy “Moving Spotlight Theories”
14:45 Benjamin Graham Woodard “Rowboat and Spotlight: F. H. Bradley and Fragmented Time”
15:30 Coffee break

Session IV. Chair: Jeremy Dunham

16:00 Daina Habdankaite “Time Out of Joint: The Never-Coming Future in Deleuze and Derrida”
16:45 Keith Ansell-Pearson “Duration and Creative Evolution in Bergson”

17:30 Day ends

19:00 Conference dinner

Day 2: Routes to Engagement and Impact for Historians and Philosophers of Time (Tues Sept 12th)

Session V. Chair: Matthew Tugby

09:00 Thom Brooks “On Blogging and Policy”
09:45 Jonathan Tallant “Metaphysics in the Wild: Youtube videos and Consultancy”

10:30 Coffee break

Session VI. Chair: Peter Vickers.

10:45 Peter Adamson "What is History of Philosophy 'Without Any Gaps'?"

11:30 Liza Thompson “Writing Philosophy”
12:15 Roundtable: Engagement and Impact
13:00 Lunch

Session VII. Chair: Olley Pearson.

14:15 Giuliano Torrengo “Philosophy of time: networks of people and of ideas”.

15:00 Conference ends (an early finish to allow attendees to travel home that day)


By train, it takes roughly 3 hours to reach Durham from London. Durham is also easily reachable by air (the city is equidistant between Newcastle Airport and Durham Tees Airport, both of which are well connected through public transport, and airport taxis e.g. For further travel details, please see:

Durham city centre is compact, and it is a 15 minute walk from the train station to the conference venue (Hatfield College, North Bailey, Durham DH1 3RQ). For further details about reaching Hatfield, see here:


Conference attendees must arrange their own accommodation. There are many hotels and B&Bs in the centre of the city. These can be searched using an engine such as or or
There may also be availability in university colleges:

Conference Organisation

The conference is organised by Emily Thomas, as part of her British Academy Rising Star grant. It is supported by the University of Durham, and the International Association for the Philosophy of Time (IAPT). After the conference, the Centre for Philosophy of Time (the European part of the IAPT) will post a series of blog posts and podcasts about the talks.