Physics and the manifest image of time
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What Makes Time Special is an ambitious, thought-provoking, and original investigation into the nature of time that deftly combines scientific and philosophical breadth and depth. The starting point is the incompatibility between time as it is commonly thought to be, “manifest time,” and time as revealed by science, “physical time” (2). Many philosophers and scientists have been struck by this conflict but, argues Callender, none has managed to offer a plausible account of how we come to have the manifest image of time, given its stark contrast with physical reality. If a fundamental and pervasive part of the world differs greatly from our ordinary and natural understanding of it, one wonders how the common picture could become so instinctive and ingrained. Accordingly, “reconciling manifest and scientific time is our goal” (30), though Callender is “not looking to vindicate manifest time but only to explain why creatures like us might employ that notion” (49).