Newton, in the Principia, conceived time as flowing everywhere at the same rate (this was anticipated also in Aristotle's Physics).

Time here is independent of bodies and particles. In a sense it is external to them.

Einstein introduced a conception of time in which a 'clock' was carried by a particle - or 'proper time'.

Is this consonant with the Kantian notion that time is a synthetic and a priori notion? Of course, an immediate distinction is that Kant had in mind the experiential reality of a mind. Whereas a particle in this sense does not, but in another sense it may as it 'experiences' force.


In Kant, time is a form of intuition, not a part of external reality, so both interpretations are consonant with him. You can pretty much go crazy with the subject without raising any objection to the Kantian picture, because he put it into a category that is by necessity broad and flexible.

Recall that Kant was trying hard not to directly conflict with his religion, which holds a worldview that encompassed angels, for whom time was absolutely optional and could be replaced by a different form of intuition, with a more refined sense of duty, in an eternal state.

A type of mind comes with its own equivalent of time, a priori. So, to the extent something like evolutionary development is a self-driven problem solving mechanism, genes, and before them particles probably qualify as a 'type of mind' in his terms, even if Kant himself would have rebelled at the notion. Their notion of time need not be ours, but any important consequence will be translatable between the two.

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