Friday, 7 May 2010

Augustine on Time

The philosophy of time has always fascinated me; the sort of fascination that one has with things that have to be thought about - but for which I am glad it is not me that has to do the thinking for a living. Here's one of the greatest of all thinkers ponderning time:

For what is time? Who can easily and briefly explain it? Who can even comprehend it in thought or put the answer into words? Yet is it not true that in conversation we refer to nothing more familiarly or knowingly than time? And surely we understand it when we speak of; we understand it also when we hear another speak of it. What, then, is time? If no one asks me, I know what it is. If I wish to explain it to him who asks me, I do not know.

St. Augustine, Confessions, XI, 14.

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