L’ouvrage collectif Connaissance philosophique et connaissance des essences vient de paraître aux éditions du Collège de France, sous la direction du Prof. Claudine Tiercelin et d’Alexandre Declos.

Pour ma part, j’ai rédigé le chapitre « L’approche non-modale de l’essence ».

Mon article est disponible en accès libre à cette adresse : https://books.openedition.org/cdf/13801

Conference: Time and Contradiction

Baptiste Le Bihan and I are organizing an international conference entitled « Time and Contradiction », which will take place on May 22-23, 2023 at the University of Geneva.

The conference aims at bringing together various questions about time by examining the different ways the concept of contradiction can shed new light on our understanding of its nature.


Sam Baron (Melbourne)
Christophe Bouton (Bordeaux)
Daniel Deasy (Dublin)
Saakshi Dulani (Geneva)
Akiko Frischhut (Tokyo)
Marc Lachièze-Rey (Paris)
Oliver Pooley (Oxford)
Emily Thomas (Durham)


Time relates to contradiction in several ways. In the early 20th century, McTaggart argued that the traditional conception of the passage of time led to contradictions: each event seems to have contradictory properties of being future, present, and past. Some debates in metaphysics about the nature of change and becoming, together with dialetheism, explore whether there may be genuine non-pathological contradictions, and how they may play a role in our conception of time. For example, a book’s changing involves the contradictory properties of being open and being shut. Theories of persistence generally aim at reconciling this contradiction with reality’s coherence – unless it is precisely coherence that must be abandoned. On the physics side, relativistic physics suggests that the concept of time does not exist fundamentally and that it must be replaced by a four-dimensional spacetime, while recent developments in quantum gravity suggest that even this spacetime might fail to be fundamental. The physics of black holes, with the paradox of information loss, suggests that two contradictory conceptions of time prevent a proper understanding of the fundamental nature of reality.

Book Publication

My first book, entitled The Asymmetric Nature of Time, has just been published by Springer Nature in the Synthese Library book series.

It is now available in its digital version in open access thanks to a generous grant from the Swiss National Science Foundation: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-031-09763-8.

Physical copies will be available by October 15, 2022, but can already be pre-ordered. 

A French translation of the book should be published soon by a Parisian publisher.

I hope you’ll enjoy the book!

Synthese Topical Collection: Temporal Reasoning and Tensed Truths

Matteo Pascucci (Slovak Academy of Sciences) and I are pleased to announce that we are editing a topical collection for the philosophy journal Synthese, devoted to temporal reasoning and tensed truths.

The topical collection is open to any submission dealing with issues around truth and time and making use of logical tools. However, we would like to especially raise attention on the formalization of arguments taken from everyday reasoning, where alternative logical frameworks could be tested with a view on potential applications to problem-solving.

Appropriate topics for submission include, among others:

Formal accounts of tensed truths
Grounds for tensed truths
Logics for chronologically definite and indefinite propositions
Reasoning problems involving time
Temporal vs atemporal notions of truth
Truth-value of tensed statements
The unrestricted application of bivalence
The absoluteness of utterance-truth
The problem of future contingents
Truthmakers for tensed truths

The deadline for submission: 28 February 2023 (via https://www.editorialmanager.com/synt/default.aspx)

More information is available here:



SNSF Postdoc.Mobility – University of Oxford

I am honored to join the University of Oxford in February 2022 for a 2-year period, thanks to a SNSF Postdoc.Mobility Fellowship. I will have the opportunity to work on my own project, entitled « Time Regained: Reconciling Phenomenological and Physical Perspectives on Time ». I would like to thank the Swiss National Science Foundation for its support, and the University of Oxford for hosting my project.

My new personal webpage: https://www.philosophy.ox.ac.uk/people/vincent-grandjean.

Publication in Synthese II

My paper “Symmetric and Asymmetric Theories of Time” has just been published in Synthese: http://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s11229-021-03427-7.

I would like to thank Fabrice Correia and the members of eidos (the Genevan Centre for Metaphysics), Claudine Tiercelin and the members of the Groupe d’Études en Métaphysique du Collège de France, and the members of the Institute of Philosophy of the University of Neuchâtel, especially Simon-Pierre Chevarie-Cossette. I am also grateful to three anonymous referees for reports which helped to substantially improve the paper.

Collège de France III

La vidéo de ma dernière intervention au Collège de France, prononcée à l’occasion du colloque « Connaissance philosophique et connaissance des essences », est désormais disponible. Mon intervention s’intitule « L’approche non-modale de l’essence ».

La vidéo

Connaissance philosophique et connaissance des essences

J’ai le grand honneur de participer à un colloque international organisé par le Prof. Claudine Tiercelin, consacré à la connaissance philosophique et à la connaissance des essences. Ce colloque se tiendra au Collège de France les 7 & 8 octobre 2021 dans la salle 2.

Mon intervention, intitulée « L’approche non-modale de l’essence », est prévue le 8 octobre à 17h20. Je copie/colle mon abstract ci-dessous:

« Les métaphysiciens ont longtemps conçu l’essence comme une notion modale : ils traitent les vérités essentielles comme des vérités modales d’un certain type (nécessaires et de re), et les propriétés essentielles comme des caractéristiques qu’une entité possède nécessairement, si elle existe. Cependant, cette approche a été critiquée par une série de travaux entrepris par Kit Fine dès les années 90. En particulier, Fine montre que l’approche modale de l’essence classe, parmi les propriétés essentielles d’une entité spécifique, des propriétés qui ne relèvent intuitivement pas de sa nature. Il propose alors une approche alternative, non modale de l’essence, qui renverse l’ordre explicatif : l’essence n’est plus expliquée en des termes modaux mais, au contraire, les modalités sont expliquées en termes d’essence. Dans cet exposé, je discuterai des objections que Fine adresse à l’approche modale de l’essence (et des façons potentielles d’y répondre), ainsi que de la position de Fine elle-même et de ses principales conséquences sur la métaphysique contemporaine. »

Page de l’événement