The Lens Through Which Ye See: Philosophy of Time in the Works of C.S. Lewis




Jeffrey, Josh

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What can modern philosophers of time learn from the fictional works of C.S. Lewis? In this thesis I demonstrate that Lewis’s conception of time as exemplified throughout his works, but particularly in the Chronicles of Narnia and The Great Divorce, makes up a coherent philosophy of time. This philosophy of time draws on Christian theology, particularly the works of Augustine and Boethius, but it is nonetheless applicable to the modern debates about the ontology of time. C.S. Lewis lived through the years following J.M.E. McTaggart’s famous essay “The Unreality of Time” and the subsequent polarization which resulted in two distinct conceptions of time called the A- theory and the B-theory. I argue that in his fiction, and particularly in the final chapters of The Great Divorce, Lewis provides a potential answer to this division by creating a synthetic view of the relationship of A-theory and B-theory time series.



Philosophy, Literature