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Many known physical phenomena are dependent on time, and are in fact a function of time.

However if I think of reality as something that exists independently of perception by an observer, then it starts to seem like time is a construct of our mind, which is in place so that reality can be processed and interpreted by our limited brains, a chunk at a time.

There is a quote, not sure who said it first, "The only reason for time is so that everything doesn’t happen at once." That sounds a lot like the way our brains deal with making sense of events, rather than an inherent property of reality.

My question is: has time been proven to exist outside of the perception of a living observer? What's there to it more than there is to a "normal" sense out of the ones we have (i.e. how is the passing of a second any more real than a color, which is just a specific wavelength of light, and the experience of a color itself is just a construct of our mind dependent on our sense of sight)?

  • That time is a form our intuition rather than an objective entity was Kant's theory, it is not very popular these days. In modern physics its status is relativized to a frame, but not to becoming an observer's construct. As for "proving", such metaphysical claims can be neither proved nor disproved. – Conifold Apr 18 at 22:59
  • The non-existence of time can be logically-proven by showing the paradoxical nature of the idea of its existence, but of course It's not a proof everyone accepts. Time is thought to be real because if it is not then neither is any time-dependent entity, and this is a step too far for most folk. However, it is basic to the non-dual doctrine of the mystics, who say time's non-existence or 'reducibility' is verifiable. . – user20253 Apr 19 at 15:09
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    Time is nothing more that a sequence of events and these vents can be simply moving form one though to the next, thus not requiring input from the sense organs (perception). – polcott Apr 19 at 15:24
  • By 'proven' it sounds like you are asking for a scientific proof. But all scientific proofs require an observer. Spooky action at a distance doesn't occur in the 2 slit experiment without an observer. In Eastern philosophy, time exists because of perception. Existence = perception. – Swami Vishwananda Apr 20 at 6:47
  • @Swami: does that mean that in Eastern philosophy, the universe itself doesn't exist if there isn't an observer able to experience it? It's one of the most burning questions I have and I'm still looking for an answer to it. – Samuele B. Apr 20 at 14:31

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