How do we perceive time?

Course Dates: 05/06/23 - 19/06/23
Time: 12:30 - 14:30
Location: Online
Do we perceive time or the passage of events? Einstein famously considered time – or the distinction between past, present, and future – as an illusion. We will reflect on how we experience time, discussing the roles of memory, emotion, and narrative.
This course will be delivered online. See the ‘What is the course about?’ section in course details for more information.
Book your place
In stock
Full fee £69.00 Senior fee £55.00 Concession £35.00

Course Code: HP206

Mon, day, 05 Jun - 19 Jun '23

Duration: 3 sessions (over 3 weeks)

Please note: We offer a wide variety of financial support to make courses affordable. Just visit our online Help Center for more information on a range of topics including fees, online learning and FAQs.

What is the course about?

Our experience of events is organised in a temporal order we call the ‘passage’ of time. How, if at all, do we perceive the passage of time? We explore how philosophers and psychologists describe time. How do attention, memory and emotion condition our experience of time? How is time shown in narratives? Participants are invited to share their own perceptions of time.

This is a live online course. You will need:
- Internet connection. The classes work best with Chrome.
- A computer with microphone and camera is best (e.g. a PC/laptop/iMac/MacBook), or a tablet/iPad/smart phone/iPhone if you don't have a computer.
- Earphones/headphones/speakers.
We will contact you with joining instructions before your course starts.

What will we cover?

We begin with historical views on temporal experience, from classical Greek to modern and current philosophical and psychological views. We examine concepts used to capture time perception: ‘change’, ‘duration’, ‘succession’ or ‘before-after’, and ‘now’. Why does time ‘speed up’ or ‘slow down? We discuss how attention, memory and emotion shape our experience of time. We also look into expressions of time in literature and the cinema.

What will I achieve?
By the end of this course you should be able to...

• Understand and discuss philosophical theories and concepts of time and temporal experience. You will be familiar with different perspectives on temporal perception in the history of ideas, philosophy, psychology and narrative.
• Understand and evaluate the main philosophical and psychological views on how we perceive time and formulate your own perspective.

What level is the course and do I need any particular skills?

Introductory. The tutor will use a flexible approach to meet students’ needs.

How will I be taught, and will there be any work outside the class?

The course is lecture-based, using power-point and whiteboard, but sufficient time will be made for discussion, which is an important part of the learning process. Short extracts from relevant philosophical texts will be provided for comments and class discussion. The tutor will provide feedback about progress on request. The power-points and selected materials will be available for personal study. Students are encouraged to look at the power-points in their own time and bring questions to the class. Additional reading is optional.

Are there any other costs? Is there anything I need to bring?

Your questions about how we perceive time.

When I've finished, what course can I do next?

Please check our website at for up-to-date information about forthcoming philosophy courses.

Anita Kasabova

Anita teaches and writes about philosophical topics. She has taught undergraduate and graduate students at university for many years, as well as adult learners. She uses a cross-disciplinary approach in her teaching and encourages students to examine intersections between philosophy, psychology, and other humanities subjects. She is the author of a book On Autobiographical Memory (Cambridge Scholars Publishing, 2009), and numerous articles on topics in the history of philosophy, various aspects of memory and the role of shame in social media. She also published two poetry collections. She studied at Geneva University, has an MA in English literature, a PhD in Philosophy, and a Bulgarian national scientific habilitation in Philosophy.

Please note: We reserve the right to change our tutors from those advertised. This happens rarely, but if it does, we are unable to refund fees due to this. Our tutors may have different teaching styles; however we guarantee a consistent quality of teaching in all our courses.