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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40 views

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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2answers
89 views

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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251 views

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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140 views

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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2answers
110 views

Why do we call “A or B Theories of Time” instead of “A or B Hypotheses of Time”?

Why do we call "A or B Theories of Time" instead of "A or B Hypotheses of Time" when the concepts are not yet proven by empirical evidence? We know, hypothesis: a supposition or ...
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102 views

If time is subjective but unchanging, how are we not immortal?

This is probably my longest-lasting point of confusion re: Kant. True, he diagnoses the paralogism very well; but if time is unchanging, inherent in our subjectivity, and in that as constitutive of ...
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Is the human mind capable of distinguishing between time running forward and time runing backward? [closed]

The title really says it all. Would we be able to feel anything if time started running backward?
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60 views

Is there a name for this form rejection of the free will vs determinism debate?

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 ...
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99 views

What exactly is Time and Space? [closed]

Question description so that anyone can evaluate and answer accordingly I don't know what is the formal process for a theory to get accepted by the science community, please guide me on how to proceed ...
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104 views

Does Spinoza think essence and eternity are the same thing?

"VIII. By eternity, I mean existence itself, in so far as it is conceived necessarily to follow solely from the definition of that which is eternal." "Explanation—Existence of this kind ...
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227 views

One dimensional time travel

I'm having trouble understanding whether one dimensional time travel is conceptually possible or whether it involves contradictions instead.
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235 views

Physics, “the beginning of time” and common sense

If we accept the result of big-bang theory that time does not indefinitely extend back in the past, how can this result be smoothly integrated with the common-sense view that for every time-instant ...
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47 views

Does the present only exist to the extent that it leaves traces in the future?

Under what conditions can we conclude from the position that the past only exists to the extent it leaves traces in the present to the position that the present only exists to the extent it leaves ...
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2answers
101 views

What can we conclude about consciousness in the past? [duplicate]

All we can be certain of is consciousness in the present. What can we conclude about consciousness in the past? Can we even conclude that it existed? Whenever someone presents "evidence" of ...
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70 views

Does Eternalism imply looping consciousness?

If the idea of Eternalism as expressed by those like J.M.E. McTaggart and Sean Carroll is true (as much of physics seems to suggest), the idea of the present moment being more real than the past or ...
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55 views

Beginning of time problems?

Dear philosophy stackexchange, I'm curious as to whether there have been arguments by philosophers for there being a finite past/future or whether it has always been past/future temporally infinite? ...
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1answer
369 views

Why isn't time understood to be relative motion? [closed]

Summarize the problem In every way one would observe time, time can be thought of as relative motion. In every way that one would measure time, time is measured by comparing motion. These are ...
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1answer
164 views

Zeno's stadium paradox: If space is not continuous or discrete, what is it?

Zeno's paradoxes are paradoxical because they show that in a world of continuous time and space, there cannot be any motion, thus all motion that we see are some kind of illusion. His paradoxes then ...
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1answer
66 views

How do Kantian's respond to the “Neglected Alternative”?

In his Critique of Pure Reason, Kant posits two seemingly contradictory claims: The nature of Things in Themselves, as they exist apart from the phenomenal world, are unknowable. Time and Space do ...
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38 views

Relational spacetime and simultaneity?

I once asked a similar question but didn't really get the answer or discussion that I was looking for and decided to start clean. Recall that in Galilean (classical) spacetimes its assumed that space-...
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3answers
250 views

How would a mathematical theory of the universe incorporate time?

In Einstein's theory of relativity, we start with describing events as coordinates in 4D Minkowski space. All events that have occurred in the past and future would then be represented as points in ...
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77 views

Is the existence of time independent of perception?

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 ...
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3answers
108 views

Given that we do not have the ability to time travel backwards, can we prove that there will never be backwards time travel? [closed]

I have heard that if there will exist backwards time travel in some reasonable form in the future, presumably they would send the technology back so that we have it earlier. Since we don't have it, ...
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4answers
516 views

Would it be logically possible that the Universe has a beginning in time but an infinite amount of time has elapsed since this beginning?

Imagine that the Universe had a temporal beginning but no temporal end. At the beginning the Universe has a finite size, and as time passes its size increases exponentially. And the number of ...
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6answers
206 views

Probability of something given that time will exist forever?

What is the probability of something happening given that time always will exist? If time never ends, is it 100% likely that I will be born again after death? I have a great way to illustrate my ...
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2answers
219 views

How does biological evolution work in the block universe/b-theory of time?

The b-theory of time is often described as a film reel where the whole reel exists, but we can only view one frame at a time. The problem I have with this analogy is that it starts to feel too ...
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1answer
123 views

Does Shoemaker's thought experiment about time really work?

Shoemaker gives us an interesting thought experiment about time: Assume that an entire universe is divided into three parts -- A, B, and C. Every 3 years, everything in A freezes for a year. ...
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1answer
109 views

Questions about Quantum Logic?

Carl von Weizsäcker, who worked on the topic of Quantum Logic several times, said that Quantum Logic was temporal in contrast with Classical Logic which would be atemporal (that would mean that truth ...
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37 views

Perdurantism applied to non-physical objects

I have recently been reading up a lot on perdurantism aka four dimensionalism including papers by Rea, Sider, Bittner and Donnelly among others and I was interested in knowing whether there was any ...
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1answer
153 views

How do philosophers expain change if time is discontinuous?

How do philosophers explain discontinuous time? I don't mean how do they account for it, but how do they show what is meant by the term. What is meant by it? Specifically, how do they account for ...
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6answers
265 views

The passing of time

Did the passing of time come before everything else? As in, how long was there "nothing"? And if we can put a time on that, wouldn't time itself be something? And if so, is time the thing that "...
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3answers
198 views

If the passage of time is an illusion, does that mean I also experience time not passing?

There are a few questions on this site about time passing and illusion. And it seems that our psychological experience of the flow of time might be best accounted for as illusions are https://www....
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3answers
171 views

Is is possible to explain the psychological experience of the flow of time?

There is a physical explanation of some irreversibility, via the second law of dynamics ... the second law implies that time is asymmetrical with respect to the amount of order in an isolated ...
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1answer
47 views

Help Understanding an Argument For Temporal Parts

The following argument is presented from the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy regarding the existence of perdurantism (temporal parts): A third argument from STR to perdurantism does not rely on ...
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1answer
158 views

How does phenomenology deal with time-consciousness?

How does the strict phenomenologist deal with atypical forms of consciousness that an analytical philosopher need only point to brain function to explain? For instance, how does phenomenology deal ...
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66 views

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

"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 ...
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153 views

Question About Shoemaker's Thought Experiment (Time Without Change)

In his argument that time intervals can exist without change, Shoemaker gives us an interesting thought experiment. For those unfamiliar, here it is: Assume that an entire universe is divided into ...
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2answers
271 views

Is everything still and happens at the same time?

I really don't know if there's a theory that explains if everything happens at the same time, meaning that there is no such thing as time and time is simply an illusion. This line of thought comes ...
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127 views

Is the permanent self still tenable? [closed]

I wonder what a possible objection could be: P1) The self is static in change; P2) If P1 is true then change cannot be the self otherwise the self wouldn't be static; C) Therefore, change is the ...
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1answer
140 views

Meaning of a diagram by Althusser

A diagram by Althusser captioned “The future lasts a long time” (the title of his memoirs) appears on several of his book covers. Below is my own reproduction, based on a sketched version found here. ...
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If only the present is ideal in McTaggart's sense are we still obliged to accept his C-series or something close to it?

If only the present in the A series is ideal in McTaggert's sense are we still obliged into accepting his C-series or something close to it, in order to account for the appearance of change? It seems ...
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2answers
162 views

Do Aristotle's three laws of logic apply to statements about the future?

I have just read about Aristotle's Three Laws of Logic. I was wondering if statements such as "There is a chance of it raining in the next hour" can be evaluated using the three laws. Can you apply ...
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1answer
130 views

Is a dog from the present considered to be the same thing as the same dog 1 sec in the future? [closed]

Is a dog from the present considered to be the same thing as the same dog 1 sec in the future? What are the distinctions philosophers tend to make when we refer to the same thing at a different time. ...
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5answers
474 views

Do some philosophers believe there is no present, past, and future — and if so how on earth do they?

Nor does 20th (21st) -century physics countenance the idea that there is anything ontologically special about the past, as opposed to the present and the future. In fact, it fails to use these ...
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99 views

Is it true that the order of spacelike events depends on an observer? Does that mean block universe is true?

So I was thinking, as philosophers do, if even the past and the future is relative and the order of events can change, then block universe must be true. Is my reasoning right or wrong?
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146 views

Divine temporality and spacetime

According to the IEP, The majority position today, at least among philosophers, is that God is everlasting but temporal. How is the idea of divine temporality reconciled with special relativity? ...
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1answer
361 views

I don't understand Parmenides's argument for why we can't think about what doesn't exist

I have been learning about Parmenides, and I don't think I am correctly understanding his argument for why we can't think/speak about things that don't exist. I tried to apply his logic to a ...
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117 views

Does a two-way infinite time imply that every event is recurrent?

If time were to be infinite in both the past and the future, does that mean that every event must occur an infinite number of times? If time is only infinite in one direction, it is easy to see how ...
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236 views

How would a theist answer this argument against heaven?

Some, if not most, theists assert that time exists in heaven. How can this be? If time is at all based on physical laws (spacetime, emergence, etc.), it won't be able to exist as it does currently in ...
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66 views

Does the real line mean that the start and end points of any line must exist?

In mathematics, a real number is a value of a continuous quantity that can represent a distance along a line https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Real_number We consider the set of real numbers, ...

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