Matt Farr

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I am a Postdoctoral Research Fellow on the project New Agendas for the Study of Time: Connecting the Disciplines at the University of Sydney's Centre for Time, my role in which is to study the philosophy and physics of the arrow of time. I achieved my PhD in Philosophy at the University of Bristol under the supervision of James Ladyman. Later in 2014, I'll be joining the project The Causal Power of Information in a Quantum World at the University of Queensland.

I work on conceptual issues concerning time, causation and explanation, particularly what it means for time to 'have a direction' and what this has to do with various time symmetries and asymmetries in philosophy and physics. I have some unusual views on the distinction between past, present and future (including a stubborn belief that the past is as 'open' as the future), and an interest in novel perspectives on standard philosophical problems offered by foundational work in quantum information theory. In a nearby possible world I make my living as a drummer.

Centre for Time

The project on which I currently work concerns the study of time across philosophy and the sciences, with focus on physics and experimental psychology (and everything between). You can follow our progress on our blog and (in a condensed form) on twitter.


I am currently organising the Sydney Foundations of Physics seminar series and have organised/co-organised the following conferences: Free Will and Retrocausality in a Quantum World (with Huw Price); Time Symmetry: A Unified Approach (with Sam Baron); The Present State of Presentism; Conventional Principles in Science (with Milena Ivanova).

PhD Thesis

Online Publications

Research Articles

  • 2013. A Relic of a Bygone Age? Causation, Time Symmetry and the Directionality Argument (with Alexander Reutlinger). Erkenntnis. + details
  • 2012. On A- and B-Theoretic Elements of Branching Spacetimes. Synthese. + details

Further Publications

  • 2011. Report on Conventional Principles in Science (with Milena Ivanova). The Reasoner. + details

Works in Progress


    + forthcoming talks
  • Causation and Time Reversal. + venues
  • 'Initial' Conditions and the Direction of Time. + venues
  • Time: Inside and Out. + venues
  • Supertemporal Ontology and the 'Triviality' Problem. + venues
  • Explaining Time and Time Explaining. + venues
  • Does time have a direction? + venues
  • Difference-Making and the Direction of Time. (With Alexander Reutlinger.) + venues
  • Non-Reductive Naturalism about Time Direction? + venues
  • On Some Problems with A- and B-Theoretic Models of Branching Spacetime. + venues
  • Towards a C Theory of Time. + venues
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