Time in Cosmology

In Eleanor Knox & Alastair Wilson (eds.), The Routledge Companion to Philosophy of Physics. London, UK: Routledge. pp. 707–718 (2022)
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Readers familiar with the workhorse of cosmology, the hot big bang model, may think that cosmology raises little of interest about time. As cosmological models are just relativistic spacetimes, time is understood just as it is in relativity theory, and all cosmology adds is a few bells and whistles such as inflation and the big bang and no more. The aim of this chapter is to show that this opinion is not completely right...and may well be dead wrong. In our survey, we show how the hot big bang model invites deep questions about the nature of time, how inflationary cosmology has led to interesting new perspectives on time, and how cosmological speculation continues to entertain dramatically different models of time altogether. Together these issues indicate that the philosopher interested in the nature of time would do well to know a little about modern cosmology.

Author Profiles

C. D. McCoy
Yonsei University
Craig Callender
University of California, San Diego


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