What is it time? While all of us experience time, while everything we realize takes place within time, we are found in a difficult position, as we are reminded by Saint Augustine, to describe what time is. The eventual appreciations of time vary considerably. For some people time is an illusion, or simply a useful parameterization of the events. For other people time is the only reality, the generator and provider of everything.
Eleven scholars met twice in 2007, in order to address this thorny issue of time. A variety of opinions were presented, expressing the depth, the range and the intricacy of the time dynamics. The principal merit of these meetings consisted in bringing together colleagues from different disciplines. It involved scientists from the hard core of science (particle physics, relativity and cosmology), biologists and neurophysiologists, philosophers and theologians. The questions addressed include the notion of time in quantum mechanics and general relativity, the process of “self-organization” in time, the anthropic link of the external time to the human time, the biological time, the neurophysiology of time, the time during a mystical experience, the multiplicity of times and the universal description of time, our temporal existence and the eternal divinity, Kierkegaard’s view on time and a comparison of related notions of time in philosophy and theology.
Is there a convergence among the different points of view? Is there a shared understanding of the notion of time? It is not that certain. Far from easily offered solutions, these proceedings respect the complexity of the issue, search for novel insights and bring forward the latest results from scientific research. For these reasons, the eBook is a trustworthy companion for an exciting trip in the land of time.
Department of Astrophysicsy
University of Thessaloniki