A New Refutation of Time

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"A New Refutation of Time" (Spanish: Nueva refutación del tiempo) is an essay by Argentinian writer Jorge Luis Borges (written between 1944 and 1946) in which he argues that the negations of idealism may be extended to time. It consists of a prologue and two articles: the first one was written in 1944 and appeared in number 115 of the review Sur; the second, written in 1946, is a rework of the first. Borges comments that he did not combine the two texts into one, as the reading of two analogous texts might facilitate the comprehension of an indocile subject.

Just as George Berkeley denies that there is an object existing independently of our perception of it, and David Hume denies that there is a subject apart from a mere recollection of sensations, Borges tries to demonstrate that there is no time.

He proceeds on the assumption that if "man" is reduced, as according to Hume, to a collection of sensations, a single repeated perception, either in one man's life or in the experience of two different men, suffices to prove that time is a fallacy, since this repetition will destroy its linear sequence.


  • Borges, Jorge Luis. A New Refutation of Time.
  • Dapía, Silvia G. (1996). "Review: Floyd Merrell's Unthinking Thinking". Archived from the original on 2006-12-11. Retrieved 2006-10-28.