Questions tagged [time]

By Einstein's definition, time is what clocks measure – but how can we define “clock” without referring to time? This tag is for such philosophical questions about the many unresolved issues concerning time. Though this includes questions about the interpretation of physical theories and concepts, if your question is about what current physics can quantitatively predict or explain, it is probably not about philosophy and therefore off-topic.

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Graham Priest's "escape from Hell" puzzle

The gist of the puzzle is that every day, the Devil offers to flip a coin to see if you escape; one loss and you're guaranteed to be stuck forever, but each day the probability of a winning toss ...
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What is the basis for a b theory of time?

I am trying to better understand the B theory of time. It doesn’t make sense to me to deny tenses and say that every spot in time exists. Can someone please provide a basis for adopting the B theory, ...
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Is there any good argument that time moves?

We all experience that time moves, and most people just assume that it is the truth. However, I see no solid ground behind it, since our perception would not change if it does. Our perception of ...
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A new challenge to physical reality

So recently I was thinking about Zeno's paradox (of infinite sum of 1/2^n in motion). Although I love calculus, I still don't get how it could possibly solve the paradox in Physical world, because ...
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If something is Possible is it therefore Necessary?

Does anybody agree on this: “Given an infinite time Y, every possible event X needs to happen, right?” From a mathematical point of view it seems OK to me, although depending on the idea we have of ...
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Simultaneity of Astronauts

Let us image a spacecraft in fast orbit. Since it took off its clock has lost several minutes relative to Earth time. From the ground we can speak to the astronauts, although there is 1 second radio ...
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Understandable definition of time

What is a thorough definition of time in terms of how it causes the universe to progress and only moves in one direction? Is something as abstract as time comprehendable to us beyond a measurement? ...
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Should one learn everything?

I like to learn a lot of things. Like dance , magic tricks , business , physics , geography , chemistry , biology , maths. Just everything. Definitely , you understand that all of these topics take ...
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Presentism and change

Can presentists account for the passage of the future through the present into the past? Presentism is the view that only present things exist and what’s present changes (i.e., things change, time ...
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Does time have a beginning? [closed]

I'm not expecting to learn individual points of view of those who read this question here (The specific question here is whether time has a beginning - not general ideas pertaining to philosophy of ...
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Does Kant advocate Eternalism (or something similar)?

Kant described time as only an intuition that allows us to comprehend the world. That means things-in-themselves are timeless, and do not come into being unlike the appearances of them. When humans ...
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What is the philosophical position that a metaphysical debate is caused by different mental models?

I'm looking for authors, papers, and hopefully, the name of the philosophical position that I describe here. I've seen a couple of papers so I know that they exist, but I can't recall the authors or ...
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On the quantum mechanical nature of time flow

I am going to write below some ideas that I have been playing with lately. I am writing this question to ask for (1) your opinions and insights, specially comments on where my logic/intuition may be ...
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Can subparts of the universe travel back in time? [closed]

Came here after the question was closed on Physics stack exchange. An event requires 4 coordinates - spatial x,y,z, and time t. Multiple objects cannot occupy the same x,y,z at the same time t. Given ...
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2 votes
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Is the claim that Time doesn't exist defended among professionals today?

I think in philosophy of time Eternalism is the main option, Presentism the minority view, and there are some other theories I know almost nothing about like Growing block, or Moving spotlight. But in ...
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Does eudemonia depend on tense?

Not asking about any particular concept of well being or happiness. The question may seem odd: if I am happy today now then I will have been happy for the day. But I suspect it at least may be more ...
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5 answers
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Does the universe have one clock on the wall?

Cyclical dynamics are ubiquitous in the universe with spatial/temporal extents varying over many orders of magnitude. Each dynamical structure has its own tempo and is likely to be a consonance of ...
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Does causality have a role in predicting the future compared to knowing the past?

Example: Buckling of a rod: It is easy to know the previous position of a buckled rod, but it is impossible to predict the direction of buckling from the unbuckled position. Does causality play any ...
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Is there a term for properties that an entity has at a particular time, but which depend on the properties it has at other times?

Is there a term for properties that an entity has at a particular time, but which depend on the properties it has at other times? For example, when he was a child, Lebron James had the property of ...
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Are physicalists at all in agreement what happens to conciousness if the rate of time is changed?

For the sake of ease of imagination, maybe it's good to use a Machian defintion of time, time is the relative configuration of all physical bodies+fields. I also want to be agnostic about the flow of ...
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Is this how the static block universe, arrow of time, and conscious experience hang together?

In the static block universe we posit a view-from-nowhere perspective. When taking such a vantage, the thermodynamic arrow of time does not establish a preferred ontological direction of time. There ...
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View where personal identity is entirely subjective?

We care about our future selves, that is central to our lives, but whether a particular person is my future self or not is completely subjective. For example, in teleportation paradox, you can in ...
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Is a thing a property of space and time?

For example, there are sayings like “this house is better than yesterday” or “yesterday was so snowy.” Are a thing and spacetime separate things or is a thing a property of spacetime?
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How does the Taoist concept of Tao relate to the flow of time?

The Tao is ineffable and nameless, but we oft name examples. In my exploration of the term I find all of the examples have a "flow of time" element to them (at least when translated into ...
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Is a finite or infinite past about universe a sign of 'violation of logic' or magic?

By the existence of time and universe, we have a number of alternatives: ALTERNATIVE 1) Universe always has existed, and time always has existed (UT). ALTERNATIVE 2) Universe has existed from a finite ...
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Understanding Kant's view on space and time

I am trying to understand Kant's view on space and time. After reading several articles, I think I somewhat understood what he is trying to say, but I'd like to get my view approved. Here is how I ...
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How do multiple time dimensions appear to allow the breaking or re-ordering of cause-and-efect in the flow of any one dimension of time?

Multiple time dimensions appear to allow the breaking or re-ordering of cause-and-effect in the flow of any one dimension of time. This and conceptual difficulties with multiple physical time ...
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Does Zeno's paradox prove the continuity of spacetime?

Zeno's paradox seems to umply that motion is not possible. The paradox is easily resolved though by pointing to time intervals that get smaller if smaller space intervals are chosen in the formulation ...
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Will a person without memory be able to experience time?

Imagine a person who can't remember anything. Idon't think this is possible in reality but let's assume he misses the part of remembring that can be temporally related to other experiences. He will ...
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Can time slow down when you are traveling to or exploring a historic destination? [closed]

There is an old saying, "Time waits for no one". While the phrase is rather elementary sounding, its meaning is actually quite profound. The phrase is essentially saying that the presence of ...
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Can time be understood conceptually without experiencing it?

Can time be understood conceptually without experiencing it? I think Wittgenstein said that most concepts cannot be understood unless we have an image or an experience of it, but how true is this? ...
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Why is it said that the existence of two separate times defies the laws of causality?

I have read in a comment to one of the answers given to a question that the existence of two separate times defies the law of causality. Effects can happen before the cause that precedes them. In the ...
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How can time have a beginning when a beginning needs time?

I think this is not the first time this question has been asked. Nevertheless, I ask it. Often when asked if there was a time before the beginning of time, the North pole analogy is put forward. It's ...
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1 vote
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Views on the Implications of Temporal Subjectivity upon Shared Experience

With notions of subjective time (i.e. time as empirically inert) like those put forward by Berkeley, Hume, Leibniz and Kant, is there anything out there which speculates on the potential for a varied ...
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Is reincarnation inevitable?

My reasoning: Suppose the universe is infinite in spacetime (both space and time have no bounds). In this spacetime, a cyclic appearance of particles occurs (cyclic big bangs). When I'm alive I ...
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What is the definition of time according to Philosophy?

Time has units. nanosecond (one billionth of a second), microsecond (one millionth of a second), millisecond (one thousandth of a second), second, minute, and hour. We have atomic clock, digital clock,...
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Intuitive reasoning on the nature of time

I claim that the measurement of time is the measurement of change if the following holds: Our universe is (or can be represented as) a simulation, namely a set of data operated on by an algorithm. ...
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Space and time in Kant and space and time in physics

From the Kantian perspective, what would be the relationship between our intuitions of space and time (which form the structure of subjective experience and are not things that exist outside of human ...
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If something can’t come from nothing, then has an infinite period of time already passed?

Assuming that something really can’t come from nothing (I know it’s controversial but if it’s true)... Then at any given point in time (t), something exists and therefore something also existed at t-1....
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Can an omniscient God let a free agent change His foreknowledge of future events by disclosing information about the future to the free agent?

I've read arguments defending the compatibility between God's foreknowledge of future events and the existence of agents endowed with libertarian free will. The typical explanation is that God's ...
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What's the logical basis for Dunne suggesting that there need to be several dimensions of time in order to measure the speed of one's progress?

As a solution to the problem of the subjective passage of time, J. W. Dunne proposed an infinite hierarchy of time dimensions, inhabited by a similar hierarchy of levels of consciousness. Dunne ...
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Is Durkheimian critique of Kantian understanding of space and time valid?

In one chapter in The Elementary Forms of the Religious Life and in paper Primitive classification (Mauss also), Durkheim critiques Kantian a priori pure forms of sensibility: space and time; on basis,...
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If all we perceive is the present, what are the proofs to affirm that time exists?

I know this seems like a very trivial question and I don't know if there are methods to prove the existence of time. But even if there were, the fact that you can't perceive time as something ...
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Does an Eternal Multiverse Undermine Causality, Time and Free Will? [closed]

An eternal multiverse is a static multiverse that just exists and is presented as a series of static moments, and each moment is separated by proper time (in the relativistic sense) and has many ways ...
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How does Bergson’s conception of time differ from Heideggers’s?

I know that both did conceive of temporal time and brough it closer to our finite expirince, thus turning away from classical metaphysics of time. But what is the difference between them?
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McTaggart's Unreality of Time

This is going to sound silly but I was wondering why McTaggart's approach is needed to prove time to be real/unreal. Here's what I was thinking: The existence of time is a necessary condition for ...
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Experiencing and sensing time dilation when a person dies and the logic of

It is well known that when a person goes to sleep, there are instances when we do not experience time which has phenomenological implications. There is a temporal discontinuity. It is also known that ...
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3 answers
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Can Occam's razor be applied in favor or presentism (vs eternalism)? Is presentism simpler?

If I understand correctly, both presentism and eternalism accept that spacetime can be described by the same coordinate system and following the same rules of physics. Moreover, both of them affirm ...
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What does Aristotle mean by "the whole" and "sphere of the whole" in Physics Book IV?

In discussing time, Aristotle frequently mentions "the whole" and "the sphere itself." I have the intuition that it is related to his physical cosmology, but fail to see anything ...
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Do we leave copies of ourselves in the past?

One reason I don't believe in the possibility of backwards time travel (for objects relative to our timeline, anyway; absolute direction in time I don't as such believe in, either) is I don't think ...
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