A New Perspective

I find myself more than half convinced by the oddly repellent hypothesis that the peculiarity of the time dimension is not … primitive but is wholly a resultant of those differences in the mere de facto run and order of the world’s filling. It is then conceivable, though doubtless physically impossible, that one four-dimensional area of the time part of the manifold be slewed around at right angles to the rest, so that the time order of that area, as composed by its interior lines of strain and structure, run parallel with a spatial order in its environment. It is conceivable, indeed, that a single whole human life should lie thwartwise of the manifold, with its belly plump in time, its birth at the east and its death in the west, and its conscious stream running alongside somebody’s garden path.

— Donald C. Williams, “The Myth of Passage,” Journal of Philosophy 48:15 (1951), 457-472