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Department of Philosophy

University of Haifa

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The 2022 Lecture

The Difference between the Past and the Future

David Albert, Columbia University

Abstract: There is a curious tension at the foundations of the modern physical picture of the world: Every one of the candidates for an exact and fundamental and universal physical theory of the world that have been seriously entertained since the scientific revolution of the 17th century – all the way from Newtonian Mechanics to String Theory – has shared a principle to the effect that anything that can happen can just as easily, and just as naturally, happen backwards. But this principle is wildly and obviously at odds with our everyday experience of actually making our way about in the world. I will spell out this tension in some detail, and consider some efforts to come to grips with it.


Links to other lectures by Prof. David Z.Albert