Time’s mysteries seem to resist comprehension and what remain can stretch even the most profound philosopher.
Professor Tallis seeks to rescue time from the jaws of physics, examining the claims that time is merely the fourth dimension of space-time, that there is a ‘passage’ of time or that time has a direction or arrow. He restores tenses and our sense of ‘now’ that are often denied or ignored by physicists and connects these with our unique human freedom. For most of us, time is composed of mornings, afternoons and evenings and expressed in hurry, hope, longing, waiting, enduring, planning, joyful expectation and grief. Thinking about time is to meditate on our own mortality.
Yet, physics has little or nothing to say about this time, the time as it is lived. Our temporal lives deserve a richer attention than is afforded by the equations of mathematical physics.
Professor Tallis is a philosopher, poet, novelist, cultural critic and a retired medical physician and clinical neuroscientist.
He was a key figure in medicine and has received honorary doctorates not only for his contribution to medical science but also for his publications in the humanities.