Quid est tempus? The struggle to grasp the nature and meaning of time  


Costantino Esposito

Dept. of Philosophy, Universita degli Studi di Bari, Palazzo Ateneo, Piazza Umberto I - 70121 Bari, Italy.


In this contribution, I shall focus on: 1) the necessity of always thinking of causality in terms of time: both with respect to the natural causality and the causality inherent to free will.  Here it is time that “produces” causality; 2) the possibility of thinking of a causation without time.  Here it causation that produces time, namely the creation.  In this perspective, we can distinguish two fundamental types of time: the time as it is measured and the time of event; respectively, a quantitative and a qualitative time.  The question then is: do these two types of time flow parallel to each other or do they intersect?  This means to rethink the different meanings of the term “experience.”  Included are interesting suggestions by eminent thinkers such as Plato and Plotinus, Aristotle, Augustine and Thomas Aquinas, Bergson and Heidegger.