Time on Tuesday – Plato on Time

It would seem humans have been thinking about time throughout recorded history.

The Greek philosopher Plato, born about 428 BCE believed time was created along with the universe and has an independent existence. He wrote that the Sun, the Moon, and the other stars were brought into existence for the begetting of time. “These are called wanderers and they stand guard over the numbers of time…And so people are all but ignorant of the fact that time really is the wandering of these bodies,” Plato wrote.

Many have interpreted this to mean that time is like an empty container into which things and events may be placed, yet this container exists independently of anything placed within it.

In THE BOOK OF TIME, Adam Hart-Davis, stated it like this, “If everything were to freeze and remain unchanged and unmoving for a second,  a minute, or a hundred years, and then carry on as before, no one would notice – but time would have moved on.”

Can we conclude from this that Plato contemplated freezing time?

That’s probably a stretch, since he didn’t actually describe it that way, but it does tell us Plato considered time to be a force existing apart from humanity’s measurement and tracking of time.

Clocktower at Westminster Abbey

Clocktower at Westminster Abbey

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