UA’s Philosophy Today Series Opens with Time Travel Discussion

Dr. Ned Markosian
Dr. Ned Markosian

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. — Dr. Ned Markosian, a professor in the philosophy department at Western Washington University, will discuss the topic of time travel in the first lecture in the 2013-2014 Philosophy Today Series.

His lecture, “Is Time Travel Possible?,” will be held Oct. 29 at 7:30 p.m. in room 205 of Smith Hall on The University of Alabama campus.

Markosian is the author of a number of philosophical articles on time travel, including “How Fast Does Time Pass?” published in Philosophy and Phenomenogical Research and “A Spatial Approach to Mereology,” published in the forthcoming anthology “Mereology and Location.”

His main area of research is metaphysics, and he co-authored “An Introduction to Metaphysics” with John Carroll, professor of philosophy in the department of philosophy and religious studies at North Carolina State University.

In his lecture, Markosian will discuss the possibility of time travel to the past using the two leading theories about the nature of time: the Static Theory of Time and the Dynamic Theory of Time. He will argue that on the Dynamic Theory, time travel to the past is not possible. He will also consider the question of what people are thinking about when thinking about time travel to the past, given that such travel is not possible.

Markosian has given lectures in the United States, Armenia, Australia, England, Canada, Italy, New Zealand, Scotland, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland and Turkey. He graduated from Oberlin College and earned his doctorate in philosophy from the University of Massachusetts.

While on campus, Markosian will also give a departmental talk, “Do You Know That You Are Not a Brain In a Vat?,” Oct. 30 at 4:30 p.m. in room 352-A of ten Hoor Hall on the UA campus. He will also meet with students and faculty while at the Capstone.

Lectures in the Philosophy Today series are geared toward a general audience and are of interest to those in any profession or academic discipline. Sponsored by UA’s College of Arts and Sciences department of philosophy, a grant from Louis W. Perry and other alumni, and friends of the department, the presentations are free and open to the public.

UA’s department of philosophy is part of UA’s College of Arts and Sciences, the University’s largest division and the largest liberal arts college in the state. Students from the College have won numerous national awards including Rhodes Scholarships, Goldwater Scholarships and memberships on the USA Today Academic All American Team.


Kelli Wright, communications specialist, College of Arts and Sciences, 205/348-8539,


Dr. Scott Hestevold, professor of philosophy, 205/348-1912,