Ruhr Universität Bochum

Now, Exaiphnês and the Present Moment in Ancient Philosophy

Description and organisation

We are pleased to announce the conference Now, Exaiphnês and the Present Moment in Ancient Philosophy to take place at the Ruhr Universität Bochum, on the 24th-25th of March, 2022.

The experience of time is among the most fundamental features of human existence. The present thereby serves as a basis by means of which we can make sense of both past and future; thus our experience of the present, which we capture in notions like “the now”, “the instant of time”, or “the present moment”, is of special concern. We are made aware of the moment of time through motion and changes, and since the present moment seems to be when we experience these changes, our conception of the “now” is strongly connected with the notion of change. But experiencing a change means experiencing that something turns from being F to not being F, or from F to not-F. If the instants when something is F and not-F are the same instant, however, then the thing seems to be both F and not-F at the same time, and we seem to end up with a contradiction. This threatening inconsistency prompted several influential answers in ancient times: for example, Heraclitus may seem to endorse this inconsistency, while Parmenides seems to have concluded that time and change are thus unreal. Plato develops the notion of exaiphnês to suggest that the turning from F to not-F occurs outside of time. And Aristotle develops both Parmenidean and Platonic intuitions to argue that change is continuous and the segmentation of time into ‘nows’ occurs in thought.          

The problem of the present moment remains a source of lively philosophical debate and the ancient ideas are still a constitutive part of it, which is the motivation for organizing the conference “Now, Exaiphnes and the Present Moment in Ancient Philosophy”. The conference will bring together an international group of leading scholars working on these problems in different authors and traditions. Among the confirmed speakers are Ursula Coope (Oxford), Salvatore Lavecchia (Udine), Walter Mesch (Münster), Alex Pleshkov (Moscow), Spyridon Rangos (Patras), Mark Sentesy (Penn State), and Niko Strobach (Münster). And we also invite two to three speakers through this call for papers.

At the moment we hope the conference to take place in person, but are planning for a hybrid format as well. We expect the papers to be submitted to be about 30-45 minutes; each session will last an hour for the presentation and discussion combined. We will cover travel within Europe and accommodation.

Instructions for the submission of papers:

   Submit either full papers or extended abstracts of 1000-1500 words.

   Papers can be submitted in English or German

   Remove any identifying information on the abstract and include a separate document with your name, email, and affiliation.

   Abstracts should be sent as pdf documents to Celso Vieira (

   The subject of the email should be “Submission – Now Conference”. The title of the identification document should be the author’s name

   The submission deadline is January 03, 2022

   Notification of acceptance will be at the beginning of February


 Celso Vieira

The event is made possible through a grant from the Fritz Thyssen Foundation.

(Text from the organisers)