“If you walk into a cocktail party and say, ‘I don’t believe that time passes,’ everyone’s going to think you’re completely insane,” says Brad Skow, an associate professor of philosophy at MIT.
He would know: Skow himself doesn’t believe time passes, at least not in the way we often describe it, through metaphorical descriptions in which we say, as he notes, “that time flows like a river, or we move through time the way a ship sails on the sea.”
Skow doesn’t believe time is ever in motion like this. In the first place, he says, time should be regarded as a dimension of spacetime, as relativity theory holds — so it does not pass by us in some way, because spacetime doesn’t. Instead, time is part of the uniform larger fabric of the universe, not something moving around inside it.
Now in a new book, “Objective Becoming,” published by Oxford University Press, Skow details this view, which philosophers call the “block universe” theory of time.