Why Do We Only Remember The Past?
University of Illinois at Chicago
It seems indisputable that your knowledge of what you had for breakfast today is of a very different kind from your beliefs about what you will have tomorrow—such knowledge of the past seems much easier to come by and much more certain than the corresponding beliefs about the future. But the only thing that seems different in the two cases are their positions in time relative to the present, so it seems that understanding this 'knowledge asymmetry' is connected to other asymmetries in time. In this talk I will explore the view that the asymmetry has nothing to do with any asymmetry in 'time itself,' such as a directed 'flow' from past to present—but rather on the asymmetrical physical condition of the universe at the beginning versus the end of time. In particular I will explain, criticize, and elaborate David Albert's account of the knowledge asymmetry in his Time and Chance (2000).
Thursday, December 2nd, 4:30 p.m.