John Ellis McTaggart (3 September 1866 – 18 January 1925) was a fellow and lecturer in philosophy at Trinity College, Cambridge UK. He is best known today for his work “The Unreality of Time” (1908). McTaggart's expressed the view that the way we perceive time is an illusion. He described events as A and B series in time. The A series consisted of events in future present and past moving along the time line toward the past a constantly changing position. This series basically is the so called flow of time. In his B series he talks of fixed relationship of events as earlier and later. Death of a person is always later then their birth. The B series can also be called the arrow or direction of time. He argued that the changing A series is more essential to time than a fixed relationship of earlier and later therefore our perception of time is an illusion. His most interesting observation however may be that historical events have the same time characteristic as fictional stories. For example fictional events written by various authors, as well as past historical events have in them, the earlier and the later as well as the past the present and the future, thus suggesting that past really is more like memory of events and does not exist anymore than the imagination of a writer.
Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy