"What is" versus "What could be".

What role does language as a way of knowing play in determining “what” something is? Is the desire to change the way we view the world in Art connected to or related to the desire to change the world itself and is part of the techne and logos that we call “technology”?

The “present” as the “what is” is contrasted with the “future” as the “what could be”.

Picasso for example, like most artists, questions “why the why?” as our experience of being-in-the-world. The “present” and “future” relate to time, so art as producere, “a bringing forth” of something that was not, is implied in the contrast.

Thus in this vein, is there an objective difference between the present, the past and the future in the first place?

  • From the point of view of epistemology "there an objective difference between the present, the past and the future": we know the past and the present, but we do not know the future. Oct 23, 2019 at 13:37
  • "What is" is often applied to what persists through time, so future/present/past is largely moot. "What could be", but is not, was not and never will be, is merely a speculation. Of course, what is/was/will be may also be unknowable for practical reasons, but, at least in principle, it is more than a speculation. It can (ideally) be observed/found somewhere in space and time.
    – Conifold
    Oct 23, 2019 at 20:08

2 Answers 2

... Is there an objective difference
 between the present, the past and 
 the future in the first place?

According to Kant, time and space are the essential components of the transcendental aesthetic. In simple words, this means that time is a subjective representation. Time is not a fact of nature, but of our understanding. Time exists only in your mind.

Therefore, time being a subjective representation, it is impossible to assess it objectively. The differences cannot be objectively approached, any attempt to do so just implies reaching agreements about subjectivities. That's the equivalent of religious groups agreeing about the existence of God.

So, if you accept that time is a subjective representation, the essential difference between past and present is knowledge. Time would be a sequence of events, your past is the portion you know, which lies in your memory, the future is the portion you don't know. The present is the part of the past that lies in your short term memory, the past is the portion in your long term memory. Which is precisely an agreement about subjectivities, not an objective assessment.


Is there truly an objective difference between what is and what could be?

Objective evidence applies to what is, not to what could be.

I am working this morning even though I could be enjoying the fine weather doing a walk in the centre of Paris. It is an objective fact that I am working. It is not an objective fact that I could be walking in the streets. If I decided to go for a walk, it would become an objective fact that I would be having a walk, but I didn't decide to go for a walk, so that the situation where I would have gone for a walk remains counterfactual, and, once the moment will be passed, the counterfactual scenario will irretrievably remain counterfactual.

I thought all this was pretty obvious anyway.

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