Philosopher John G. Bennett proposed the idea that there are actually three time-like dimensions, in addition to the usual three spatial dimensions.

I would be curious to learn what the philosophical implications of such ideas might be, and whether there are any new advances or ideas in this area. I would be most interested in implications that might affect our physical understanding of the world.

  • Is there any evidence that this is worth discussing--that there might be two more time dimensions in the way he suggests? I can always invent something and ask what the philosophical implications are, but given all the actual things that we might want to know about, the imagined ones ought to either be really profound or at least somewhat likely.
    – Rex Kerr
    Commented Nov 4, 2012 at 17:05
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    I would actually like the research-level paper on exactly what Bennett proposed. It doesn't help him that someone else proposed a detailed mathematical theory that contains two time dimensions. Without a heck of a lot more depth behind it, it smells like: xkcd.com/675
    – Rex Kerr
    Commented Nov 5, 2012 at 15:22
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    I wonder whether the idea is worth discussing. Maybe dualism is false--maybe there are three substances (or ten!)! Maybe there are a continuum of souls. Maybe photons are one aspect of a true subatomic particle that gives us will. Maybe our consciousness is each linked to that of a unicorn in a shadow realm. What are the philosophical implications? (Do you see the problem with asking for philosophical implications without first an indication whether the proposed idea might be true?)
    – Rex Kerr
    Commented Nov 5, 2012 at 16:10
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    But that isn't even about the same idea. The implications come from what changes about the nature of reality, both for physics and philosophy. The two-time-dimensions thing basically just better-explains (the proponents hope) our existing data. Bennett's is dramatically different.
    – Rex Kerr
    Commented Nov 5, 2012 at 16:43
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    Is there any chance I might be able to persuade you to share a little bit more of the context and motivations behind the question? (In particular, it seems like it's possible you're just after a careful response to or reading of the Bennett -- so one suggestion might be that the question could perhaps be reformulated to ask for references to these.)
    – Joseph Weissman
    Commented Nov 30, 2012 at 21:56

1 Answer 1


I'd suggest that this is simply mathematical/theoretical physics speculation, which is fine for what it is, but its physical relevance is irrelevant: We simply do not know what it means to experience two dimensions of time, let alone three.

One of the physical insights that Einstein provided was that we should consider space and time together, of course this is an old idea, but he showed that time can be converted to space and vice-versa, which was new.

  • The origin of the arrow of time is an interesting phenomenon, even if time is one-dimensional. The basic physical laws are essentially reversible, yet the time evolution of our universe is obviously not reversible. (One potential "solution"/"explanation" would be an "initial state" with a very low entropy.) However, what will happen to the arrow of time if time is three dimensional? Commented Jan 19, 2013 at 12:35

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