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A Brief History of the Philosophy of Time$
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Adrian Bardon

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780199976454

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2013

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199976454.001.0001

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Time and Change

Time and Change

(p.8) Chapter 1 Time and Change
A Brief History of the Philosophy of Time

Adrian Bardon

Oxford University Press

We measure weight with a scale, and temperature with a thermometer. When we measure time—say, with a clock—what is it that we measure? To some scholars in the ancient world, the answer was that what we call time is simply the measure of change. What is real is a changing universe; time is derived from, and is used to track, regular changes and motions. The leading proponent of this view was the celebrated Greek philosopher Aristotle, who was both Plato’s most accomplished student and himself a teacher of Alexander the Great. His philosophical opponents on this issue were Parmenides and Zeno, who denied the reality of change—and thus denied the reality of time as well.

Keywords:   Heraclitus, Parmenides, Zeno, Aristotle, Augustine, paradox, change, idealism, relationism

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