Craig Callender's What Makes Time Special? is a special book in at least four dimensions. It is the most original work on the philosophy of time for many years. It has a good claim to be the best recent book on the physics of time, too, if we read the phrase to stress Callender's title question: What is it in physics that distinguishes time from space? It is wonderfully clear. And—most remarkable of all, given the subject matter—it is often fun. (Callender has an endearing inability to take things too seriously—himself included.)

The book is framed by the Sellarsian distinction between the “manifest” and “scientific” images of time—time as it appears to us, versus time as science, especially physics, reveals it to be. So physics plays a big role, and Callender is an able and plain-speaking guide to the relevant technicalities. But the philosophy...

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