Centre for Time
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Centre for Time

Exploring the nature and psychology of time: philosophy, physics, psychology.
Time is central to human life yet remains profoundly mysterious. As St Augustine noted, in analysing time, it slips through our grasp. We conduct multidisciplinary research to help us tighten our grip.

About us

The Centre for Time was established in 2002, supported by the Australian Research Council and the University of Sydney, in conjunction with a Federation Fellowship awarded to Professor Huw Price. Since 2010, the centre has been part of the Sydney Centre for the Foundations of Science

In 2012, the directors were awarded a John Templeton grant, which facilitated the work of the centre over the next years. Since 2015, we have been funded by a series of Australian Research Council grants in conjunction with the support of the University of Sydney.

In 2013, the Centre for Time, alongside the Philosophy of Time Society and the Centre for the Philosophy of Time together created the International Association for the Philosophy of Time (IAPT). The IAPT brings together researchers from Australasia, Europe, and the US to investigate the nature of time and temporal experience.

The centre has strengths in three main areas:

  • the philosophy and foundations of physics, through which we collaborate with researchers in the University's School of History and Philosophy of Science and the School of Physics within the University of Sydney, and with national and international partners including the Perimeter Institute for Theoretical Physics in Canada and the Neils Bohr Institute in Denmark
  • metaphysics and the philosophy of time, where we collaborate with international partners at Cambridge University and the University of California
  • the psychology and philosophy of temporal phenomenology, where we collaborate with researchers in the University's School of Psychology and international partners at the University of California and City College of New York.

We welcome visitors interested in any of these topics, and can in some cases offer funding for travel and other expenses.

Some of time's deepest puzzles arise because it isn’t clear from which discipline, across a wide range of intellectual enquiry, it is best investigated. Some aspects belong to physics, but even within physics, there is disagreement about which aspects of the ordinary view of time we should expect to find in physical theory. The Centre for Time has four core aims:

  • to provide the global research community with new clarity about what belongs where, across the academic disciplines, in the study of time
  • to identify specific topics needing cross-disciplinary work – the frontiers in the study of time where specialists in one field need insights from other fields, in order to make progress
  • to seed and advance the needed cross-disciplinary interactions, by bringing together leading specialists in the project of setting the agenda for future research
  • to apply this methodology to make progress on topics which are presently impeded by lack of access to cross-disciplinary perspectives.

The centre's overriding objective is to give researchers from a range of disciplines a deeper understanding of what aspects of the study of time belong to their discipline, and how those aspects both relate to, and are distinct from, the issues that belong to other disciplines. We hope to bring a new clarity to the study of time in its most global sense, and set the agenda for the subject's future.

For more information about our research, our members, our visitors, and our events and conferences please visit www.centrefortime.org


Headshot of Associate Professor Kristie Miller
Associate Professor Kristie Miller
View Associate Professor Miller's academic profile


Associate Professor Alex Holcombe


Professor Dean Rickles

Contact us

  • Philosophy, Main Quad A14, University of Sydney, NSW 2006, AUSTRALIA