Cover: Time’s Arrow, Time’s Cycle: Myth and Metaphor in the Discovery of Geological Time, from Harvard University PressCover: Time’s Arrow, Time’s Cycle in PAPERBACK

Time’s Arrow, Time’s Cycle

Myth and Metaphor in the Discovery of Geological Time

Add to Cart

Product Details


$32.00 • £25.95 • €29.00

ISBN 9780674891999

Publication Date: 01/01/1988

Academic Trade

240 pages

6 x 9 inches

40 halftones

The Jerusalem-Harvard Lectures


  • 1. The Discovery of Deep Time
    • Deep Time
    • Myths of Deep Time
    • On Dichotomy
    • Time’s Arrow and Time’s Cycle
    • Caveats
  • 2. Thomas Burnet’s Battleground of Time
    • Burner’s Frontispiece
    • The Burnet of Textbooks
    • Science versus Religion?
    • Burnet’s Methodology
    • The Physics of History
    • Time’s Arrow, Time’s Cycle: Conflict and Resolution
    • Burnet and Steno as Intellectual Partners in the Light of Time’s Arrow and Time’s Cycle
  • 3. James Hutton’s Theory of the Earth: A Machine without a History
    • Picturing the Abyss of Time
    • Hutton’s World Machine and the Provision of Deep Time
    • The Hutton of Legend
    • Hutton Disproves His Legend
    • The Sources of Necessary Cyclicity
    • Hutton’s Paradox: Or, Why the Discoverer of Deep Time Denied History
    • Borges’s Dilemma and Hutton’s Motto
    • Playfair: A Boswell with a Difference
    • A Word in Conclusion and Prospect
  • 4. Charles Lyell, Historian of Time’s Cycle
    • The Case of Professor Ichthyosaurus
    • Charles Lyell, Self-Made in Cardboard
    • Lyell’s Rhetorical Triumph: The Miscasting of Catastrophism
    • Lyell’s Defense of Time’s Cycle
    • Lyell, Historian of Time’s Cycle
    • The Partial Unraveling of Lyell’s World View
    • Epilogue
  • 5. Boundaries
    • Hampton’s Throne and Burnet’s Frontispiece
    • The Deeper Themes of Arrows and Cycles
  • Bibliography
  • Index

Recent News

From Our Blog

Photo of Lucia Jacobs as a child sitting next to Oaky

How to Plant a Forest

For this week’s University Press Week Blog Tour, Lucia Jacobs offers us a glimpse of environmental stewardship as seen through the activities of the ubiquitous squirrel, a species native to the Americas, Africa, and Eurasia from the Eocene Epoch onward. Lucia Jacobs is Professor of Psychology and Neuroscience at the

‘manifold glories of classical Greek and Latin’

The digital Loeb Classical Library ( extends the founding mission of James Loeb with an interconnected, fully searchable, perpetually growing virtual library of all that is important in Greek and Latin literature.