2013 - The Nature of Time in Science and in Human Experience

University of San Marino, Ancient Monastery of Santa Chiara
August 21-23, 2013

International Symposium organized in collaboration with Rimini Meeting for Friendship amongst Peoples, CEUR Foundation, Republic of San Marino - Segreteria di Stato per gli Affari Esteri e Politici, University of San Marino.
Sponsored by Banca di San Marino and Fondazione San Marino Cassa di Risparmio - S.U.M.S.

The proceedings have been published on Euresis Journal.

1st Session - Time and Causality, current challenges

Causation and time flow appear as the solid ground on which any form of scientific understanding can be built. However, recent investigations in markedly different fields such as quantum mechanics and neuroscience, reveal a more subtle interplay between time and causation. In parallel, philosophy has for quite some time struggled with the very notion of causation and with the extent to which causation can be applied to all phenomena. In this session we wish to discuss the notion of causation and its relationship with time. What is the link between time and causation in the realm of quantum physics? To what extent the time flow and the causal links we perceive are a neurological elaboration of reality? Is time a necessary presupposition of causation, or causation a necessary element of time? Can we coherently conceive forms of time-less causation? Is the natural world, both animate and inanimate, “causally closed”?

2nd Session - Beginning, Change and Ending

The beginning of the universe, the beginning of life, the birth of an individual are dramatic manifestations of time, and in some sense mark the beginning of time itself. Similarly, their evolution and ending gauge the flow of time in different time-scales. In this session we wish to examine and compare how the concept of time emerges at these three levels: the universe as described in contemporary cosmology, the evolution of life on our planet and beyond, birth, aging and death in a single living individual. Cosmology and particle physics deal with time scales that are radically separated from any intuitive notion of time we may have: can we extend the anthropic intuition of time to those scales? Can we speak of a cosmic “dawn of time”? What controls the pace of biological evolution? What is the basis of the biological clock inside single cells and at the level of whole organisms?

3rd Session - Time and Human Experience

Time is a basic first-person experience of every human being. We perceive time as the context for fulfillment of purpose and meaning in our life. Memory of the past, perception of the present, hope for the future are fundamental coordinates of human existence. In this session we wish to examine time as a fundamental element of human life, both in terms of personal experience and as perceived in different cultures. What has been the perception of time in ancient civilizations? What is the typical intuition of past, present and future in today’s mentality? How are language and memory shaped to capture the notion of time? What are the theological implications of time in the Judaeo-Christian tradition? How can we describe the relationships between causality and time?

Guest participants
The Symposium is open to a limited number of “guest participants” (PhD students, Postdocs, and Scholars) invited to attend the seminar sessions and to participate in the discussion sessions. Application informations can be found in sm2013-announcement.

Marco Aluigi
, Meeting for Friendship Amongst Peoples
Tommaso Bellini
, Department of medical biotechnology and translational medicine, University of Milano
Marco Bersanelli
, Physics Department, University of Milano
Andrea Moro, Department of General Linguistics, IUSS Pavia
Elio Sindoni
, CEUR Foundation
Carlo Sozzi,
Milano Plasma Physics Institute, National Research Council of Italy (CNR)

Benedetta Cappellini,
Euresis Association
Tonino Ceccoli,
Euresis Association
Donatella Pifferetti,
Euresis Association
Matteo Turchi
, Meeting for Friendship Amongst Peoples

A few photos of the Symposium are available.