SPoT is a network for researchers working on the philosophy of time. This includes the metaphysics of time, the nature of persistence through time as well as linguistic references to the present moment.
SPoT explicitly encourages an interdisciplinary approach, including results from anthropology, architecture, art studies, biology, buddhology, media studies, computer science, economics, education, film studies, germanistics, islamic studies, law, linguistics, literature studies, physics, psychology, sociology and theology. SPoT is international and open to members from every country.
SPoT supports gender equality and currently has about 1/3 members who identify themselves as female.
SPoT currently has over 170 members from about 20 different countries and 20 different academic disciplines.
International Association for Philosophy of Time (IAPT)
The project's core thesis is that human agency is a (sophisticated) case of bio-agency, and free will a natural means of survival and well-being for bio-agents, both being grounded in the processual constitution of living systems. Drawing on cutting-edge findings in systems biology, neurobiology, behavioural biology and evolutionary biology and engaging with current debates on bio-agency in the philosophy of biology, the project will put forward a metaphysical account that naturalises agency and free will without thereby eliminating them. Humans, like many other organisms, are naturally free thanks to the fundamental plasticity of life that lies halfway between determinism and mere randomness.
Center for Science and Thought (CST) University of Bonn The CST is part of the proposed cluster CASCADE (Computational Science for Complex Systems). Science itself is a complex developing system. Recently, the availability of new computational methods has raised issues that have to be addressed in an explorative fashion at the overlapping borders of the disciplines involved in the cluster. The CST is a radically interdisciplinary platform where questions that go beyond the scope of various established disciplines are addressed. The CST is based on the notion of a bottom-up-epistemology or theory of scientific knowledge.
The CPT aims at advertising and promoting activities in the philosophy of time in Europe, by gathering professors, researchers and students in analytic philosophy who work on time-related subjects.
Form and Persistence University of Mainz PI: Dirk Franken
The project investigates the nature of composite physical objects on the basis of considerations on persistence and modality. The focus of these considerations lies on the following questions: What is it for an object to persist/exist in different possible worlds? What is it for an object to have specific persistence-conditions/transworld identity-conditions? The working hypothesis is that the answers to these questions require a hylemorphist metaphysics of composite physical objects which gives strong priority to form over matter.
Metaphysics of Laws and Ontology of Time University of Bonn PI: Cord Friebe
At first glance, every metaphysics of laws can be combined with every ontology of time. In contrast, the project is intended to show that Humeanism requires eternalism and that Power metaphysics presupposes a dynamical view of temporal existence. This is independent of whether the laws are deterministic or probabilistic: reality is non-productively static or productively dynamical, the future be ‘open’ or not.
The project explores the question how people find motivation to realize their long-term and meaningful visions and life-projects which ultimately lead to human flourishing. We assume that the overall integration of various mental desires, impulses and capacities is the key that leads to authenticity and self-determination.
The DFG-Project Passage of Time investigates how to identify and characterise time? And what exactly is time? Is all we can say that time passes, or flows, or marches on forever? Or could time be identified with something familiar like change, or certain activities of the mind? Our Aristotelian working hypothesis is that time reduces to how we experience the development of substances.
Proteus studies main strategies devised by Western philosophy in representing time in cosmology. It aims at modifying current metaphysics and its relationship with cosmology in the light of recent scientific debates in quantum gravity and quantum cosmology.
The overreaching aim of the project is to reconcile the ‘manifest image’ and the ‘scientific image’ of temporal reality. The working hypothesis is that such a reconciliation is to be achieved through an appropriate notion of fundamentality. In a nutshell, the idea is that reality is constituted by facts of various degrees of fundamentality or basicness, and that common sense and science describe different levels of reality.
The SPoT is very thankful for the generous funding.