Updated: Aug 18, 2020
The final OxNet Humanities & Social Sciences seminar was led by Dr Peter Claus, from Pembroke College, Oxford, via a recorded lecture. This lecture caused participants to historicise the concept of 'time', and its relationship to other key concepts which have been considered in various ways over the course of the seminar series. Did the seminal figures of the Enlightenment think that they were living through a specific 'time'? If so, does, or should, 'time' follow a teleological narrative? The Enlightenment was cast as an era of tolerance, knowledge and reason and in that sense could be seen as a triumph of learning; but we have also seen over the course of the seminar series that this was decidedly not a teleological apex for many people. Is 'time', then, a helpful way to consider these points, and should this be chronological? What is the relationship between 'time' and 'space', anyway? All of these questions are ones which are central to the philosophical consideration of any period, and ones which were raised directly by this seminar.