publisher: Raffaello Cortina Editore
Does time belong to reality or is it a figment of our imagination? Or, as it is the belief of physicists from Einstein onwards, is it an obdurate illusion preventing us from understanding the world we live in? In the last two centuries, naturalistic and experimental investigations on the mechanisms of life and consciousness do confirm what is denied by physicists: all living beings endowed with a nervous system, albeit basic, have a sense of time.
Widely supported by an in-depth critical analysis, this line of thought is corroborated by clearly and thoroughly presented results of research and evidence. The sense of time is real and is an essential dimension of life. Like language and the concept representation of space, it is a biological event produced by nervous mechanisms developed by natural selection.
The nervous organization of the mechanisms of time is quite complicated: cognitive neuroscience, involved in the study of the processes giving rise to the contents of consciousness, such as physical pain, space, the sense of right and wrong, willpower, music, silence, movement, have dealt with the subject for thirty years by now, but to date some fundamental dilemmas remain unclear. In spite of that – and this is what the book is about – the neurobiology of time is certainly one of the essential mechanisms of consciousness.