5:00pm - 7:00pm PST January 26
Brian Baumann, UC Berkeley
Time is of the essence—to everything. If, as human beings, we know anything, we know what time is and what it means to us. Yet, unfortunately, those of us living under the religion that is modernity are deprived of the science of time by dogma born of physics, a philosophy (erstwhile known as such) predicated on faith in an unempirical reality, the existence of immutable order in nature. Physics obscures the science of time in a doubly confounding way: with a false definition of time as absolute duration coupled with its own conclusion that that conception is illusory. Following in the wake of our Group in Buddhist Studies’ ambitious and fruitful “Buddhism, Physics, and Philosophy Redux” workshop, my talk intends to redeem the science of time. It does so by establishing the correct scientific standard for addressing the question. With that standard established, the science of time becomes self-evident. Having pointed out the science of time, my talk touches briefly on telling time and the art of time reckoning before turning to the history of philosophies of time. In discussing philosophies of time, my talk argues that the science of time is currently held hostage by nescient purveyors of the benighted philosophies of Isaac Newton and Albert Einstein. My talk concludes by pointing out what humanity in general and our dear humanities in particular have lost to the loss of the science of time and what these, humanity and the humanities, stand to gain by the science of time’s redemption.
Lecturer in Mongolian Studies, Brian Baumann studies the language, history, and culture of the Mongols, specializing in the history of science, with focus on time reckoning and the scientific interpretation of texts. His work redeems science for scholarship in the humanities. This he achieves by drawing a careful, empirically valid, distinction between science proper and natural philosophy or “modern science.” This distinction between science and natural philosophy distinguishes his work from scholarship grounded in modern thought, which takes natural philosophy for science proper and in so doing ignores science altogether. For this distinction, his Divine Knowledge (Brill, 2008) has been considered “the first history of traditional mathematics by a modern author.” At UC Berkeley, in addition to courses on Mongolian language and history, he teaches two courses in the history of science, Buddhist Astral Science (BUDDSTD C152/EALANG C152) and History of Heaven (EALANG 119). 3335 Dwinelle Hall