Philosophy Faculty Publications

Document Type

Book Chapter

Publication Date


Publication Source

Listening to Ourselves


If there is one thing that philosophers agree upon, it is that the meaning of time is a central philosophical question. If we take the Western world as an example, there is no famous philosopher who has not investigated time. The German philosopher Martin Heidegger, to indicate the centrality of time, writes: “all ontology is rooted in the phenomenon of time correctly viewed and correctly explained.”

Likewise, according to the French philosopher Henri Bergson, the main reason that philosophical questions are difficult is because “we do not think about real time.” The fact that the question of time is very confusing has led some philosophers to claim that time is an unreal, illusory notion. For example, the ancient Greek philosopher known as Parmenides, in order to explain that we have to think of being as outside of time, says that “before and after does not exist, because what is constantly exists as One.”

The main intention of this essay is to ask how Ethiopians perceive this difficult notion of time. Because time is a decisive question for philosophy, to examine how it is perceived allows us to understand how Ethiopians see the world.



Document Version



Note: The chapter provided for download is in Amharic, the native language of Ethiopia. The English translation is available here.

It is made available for download with the permission of the author and the publisher, in compliance with the publisher's policy on self-archiving. Permission documentation is on file.


SUNY Press

Place of Publication

Albany, NY