I'm familiar with the positions of determinism, free will, and compatibilism. But I recently heard a new position in this domain, and I'm curious if it has a name. The position goes something like this:

The idea that the past creates the present (determinism) and the idea that our present state can dynamically influence the future (free will) only makes sense within a conventional linear view of time. Our conventional view of time does not take into account our limited/biological perspective of time, and so we are attempting to solve a problem within an obsolete model.

I assume this position alludes to the idea that time can "change pace" because of the laws of space-time, and/or the idea that time is viewed through the subjective lens of the human nervous system, so this perspective cannot be objectively correct.

In thinking about this, I was reminded of a statement that Sam Harris often makes where he says that "The illusion of free will is itself an illusion." Some claim that he is stating a useless tautology, but is it possible that he is referring to the illusion of linear time as it relates to our view of cause and effect?

I saw this question and its answers, but did not feel that Incompatibilism or Indeterminism focuses on this almost "transcendental" view of time.

  • Do you have a definition or conception of a time that originates from a non-biological, nay, non-human, source? Time seems to be nothing more than an abstraction of motion. – J D Aug 18 '20 at 19:59
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    This by itself does not give a perspective on free will. Let's say that time is not linear, one still has to spell out how that would substantively affect the free will debate, if it does. Pace changing, whatever that means exactly, does not seem to matter much. But if timelines are branching, as in multiverse, people did think through the implications, see e.g. Free Will and Consciousness in the Multiverse. And no, Harris is a self-avowed hard determinist, so he did not mean anything fancy about time. – Conifold Aug 18 '20 at 23:59
  • @Conifold thanks for the link! Upon further reading, the view of time that I'm describing appears to resemble Kant's perspective. When I looked around some more, I found this answer to be really helpful. I wasn't sure how Kant arrived at his (what appears to be) compatibilism, but I at least know where to continue reading. – JacobIRR Aug 19 '20 at 0:26
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    See also Is Kant's “noumenal self” argument on freedom flawed? But Kant's attempt at transcendental resolution of the free will problem is generally considered unsuccessful today. – Conifold Aug 19 '20 at 0:32
  • @JacobIRR, fwiw, Kant thought that time being one-dimensional was not absolute, there "could" be time with plural dimensions, and physical causality is provable only as the synthesis of one-dimensional time, but who knows about higher dimensions? "Why space and time are the only forms of our intuition, we will never know, neither why there are twelve and not some other number of categories." – Kristian Berry Aug 19 '20 at 2:00

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