The Experience and Metaphysics of Time and Causation Workshop with L.A. Paul

Workshop in Cologne
10/11 July 2015
Universität zu Köln, Alter Senatssaal

DFG Research Group Causation | Laws | Dispositions | Explanation




Friday, July 10

9:30–10:45 Craig Callender (UC San Diego), “The Flowing Self”


11:00–12:15 Carla Merino-Rajme (UNC), “Music on the Train”


13:45–15:00 Christian Loew (Cologne), “Counterfactuals and Time-Asymmetric Practices”


15:15–16:30 Richard Healey (Arizona), “How to Experience Time and Causation”


16:45–18:00 L.A. Paul (UNC), “An Intuitive Theory of the Persisting Self.”

19:00 Conference dinner


Saturday, July 11

10:00–11:15 Vera Hoffmann-Kolss (Cologne), “Higher-Level Causes”


11:30–12:45 Mathias Frisch (Maryland), “Toward a Causal Theory of Time”


14:00–15:15 John Campbell (UC Berkeley), “Does Temporal Representation Depend on Causal Thinking?”


Aims and Scope

Philosophy often aims to mediate between the manifest and the scientific image of the world. Time and causation play a central role in this mediation, as our preconceived notions are arguably hard to square with how physics describes the world. For instance, we experience time as having a dynamical quality that allows for what is present to constantly change. Physics, however, represents time as one dimension of a four-dimensional manifold of events that seems to lack dynamic qualities. Causation creates a similar mismatch. While it is firmly rooted in how we ordinarily make sense of the world, it is not clear that fundamental physical theories leave room for a relation that closely resembles our ordinary notion of causation.

This conference is focused on three main issues: the correct understanding of time and causation; how to square our ordinary experience and intuitions with our best scientific theories; and what connections there are between time and causation. E.g., can the temporal direction of causation explain our experience of temporal passage toward the future? To what extent is our experience of time due to how we, as agents and observers, are embedded in the world? And does this temporal viewpoint affect our causal judgments?



All participants are welcome, but please send a short email to by July 1st to let us know you are coming.


Travel Grants

We will be able to offer a restricted number of travel grants (up to 250 Euros each). PhD students and advanced M.A. students are encouraged to apply for these grants by submitting a short letter of motivation (200 words) and a short CV. Please send the applications to


Practical Information