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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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Does every interval that ends end with an instant

Instants are usually said to be the infinitely small units of time which end an interval. I think that these infinitesimals do away with the paradox of motion etc. But for those who do ascribe to ...
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3answers
431 views

Is Hawking channeling Kant in his explanation of how the arrow of time works?

In "A Brief History of Time" - Chapter 9, Stephen Hawking gives an explanation of how the arrow of time works, i.e. why time seems to move forward in one direction while space can go in different ...
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0answers
112 views

Has Derek Parfit been working on time since 2011?

The New Yorker published a portrait of Derek Parfit in 2011, which included this outlook: The first paper Parfit wrote after he began to study philosophy was on the metaphysics of time. Now this ...
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2answers
49 views

Do all events end

This thread included a request: "can you give an example of an event that doesn't end". Must all events end?
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2answers
330 views

McTaggart's infinite regress

McTaggart argues that the A series (a series of events being past, present, and future) is contradictory because an event cannot be past, present, and future, yet any event in the A series will be all ...
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1answer
82 views

Does limited time constitute maximum effort?

Have there been any philosophers who have emphasized or spoken about/around any of the following ideas? The idea that our limited time on Earth does/doesn't constitute a responsibility to 'make best ...
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1answer
129 views

Is Time? (more than just a memory of a series of events?) [closed]

Tl:Dr: Is time really something that can be traversed or manipulated, or is it just an idea, a perception, a memory, a measurement of a series of events? Question Detail: In response to a ...
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2answers
82 views

New Year's concept [closed]

How does the New Year's concept works? I mean, is it necessary for the masses or can we live without it? Assume that the Earth takes a billion years instead of one year to go all around the Sun. Then ...
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3answers
173 views

Is time neccessarily excluded from mathematical platonism?

That time is unreal has been an observation of objective physics since Newtons time, and more paramountly since Einstein; and its most outspoken partisan, now, is Julian Barbour. Its also been argued ...
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2answers
80 views

The thermodynamic arrow of time and information asymmetry

Its an obvious observation that we know the past, and in an idealised situation we could know all of the past; however we can never know the future, empirically or in any idealised situation: it has ...
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0answers
35 views

Did time begin? [duplicate]

I'm still circling around this quasi belief that ends and beginnings are somehow problematic. Suppose that physicists or philosophers could show that we cannot know when time begins. Would that mean ...
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3answers
245 views

Does information paradox in the Many Worlds interpretation cause a problem?

I'm taking a philosophy of time travel class. In one of the lectures, the teacher was discussing problems with the Many Worlds interpretation. He talked about how since anything that can possibly ...
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3answers
109 views

Passage of time on a superluminal vessel [closed]

Physics SE and Space Exploration SE thought this was off-topic for them, so I'm trying it here. Sorry if I'm doing it wrong. As I understand, within an event horizon, spacetime gets rotated so that ...
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2answers
139 views

My thoughts on time [closed]

I'm not sure if this belongs here or the physics section but I'd like to hear your opinion on this. I've recently thought about time and what it actually is, and I'm battling between two arguments: ...
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5answers
220 views

Can we doubt that we are conscious? That we are not dead?

Obviously Descartes would suggest that we can't doubt that we think, because doubt is a cognitive attitude. But is it one that occurs when we think it does, i.e. can I doubt that I am typing this now ...
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0answers
74 views

A series and B series of time

I'm still fishing for help I guess with the unreality of time. A theorists are said to think that the A series is not reducible to the B. Are there different forms this rejection of reductionism ...
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2answers
184 views

Avoiding McTaggart's infinite regress

Can a proponent of the A series avoid McTaggart's infinite regress by locating the time t at which something is past present or future along the B series? From the SEP's entry on Time McTaggart ...
2
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1answer
124 views

Do durations really end?

Leading on from this question here. I am trying to construct an understanding of why Husserl and Derrida in Aporias might believe in immortality (though perhaps neither do.) Do any of the ...
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2answers
131 views

Mula madhyamaka karika part 7-3

I started a new thread, based on others. A thread to discuss this apparently [to me] startling passage by Nagarajuna : If birth, abiding and perishing had an other characteristic of being ...
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3answers
224 views

What is an infintely small unit (of time)

Is there a philosophy of the infinitely small? Does anyone apply it to qualitative experience, and ask if that is divided up into instants? It seems to me that the infinitely small could not be like ...
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4answers
284 views

How should we understand the oracle's dilemma in making a prediction?

Let's look at a thought experiment: There is an oracle who has exact knowledge of the state of a deterministic universe, so her predictions about the universe's future have always turned out to be ...
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3answers
300 views

Could a finite time universe exist “eternally”?

In a world of one spatial dimension and one time dimension, we can, as physicists working on relativity do, consider world lines in space-time. That is, consider the xt-plane with t as the horizontal ...
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7answers
623 views

Can logic be without time?

I think logic is dependent on time. My reasoning is that all of the basic logic concepts are based on axioms that are observations in time (so basic that they do not require proof). This then leads ...
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10answers
691 views

How is “time” defined in modern philosophy?

We know the definition of "time" of Augustine of Hippo: "If no one asks me, I know: if I wish to explain it to one that asketh, I know not" (Conf.). What is time? Philosophically, what can be ...
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5answers
451 views

Problems with backward time travel

In the beginning of this SEP article is the discussion of contradictions a backward time travel may bring (e.g. the classical grandfather paradox) and possible ways to "eliminate" them. My question is:...
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1answer
228 views

Can a time-travel paradox prove self sustaining universe?

I was thinking this is more a philosophical question and not regarding the physics. Can a time-travel paradox prove self sustaining universe? Let's say, I create a time machine where I can send the ...
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5answers
349 views

Time traveler's paradox [closed]

If people were to travel back in time, change something, and return to their original time, this would create a paradox for the time traveler. To give a completely hypothetical example, consider ...
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3answers
57 views

Why the difference is measured in the absolute units (but not for time)?

I am successful at asking challenging questions. My latest victory was to ask why does python language has a special type for the time difference? I am familiar with phisics a bit. I therefore ...
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5answers
4k views

Is time travel only possible if the world is deterministic?

Let's say that true free will (and not only the impression of free will) is only possible if the world is not deterministic (meaning that the future of universe in not determined by its state at an ...
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0answers
101 views

Is the cosmological principle empircally compativle with the concept of relativity?

OK...before everyone blasts this with references to the relativistic invariance of the physical laws, time dilation, etc let me add some context. Also, I am an amateur with an interest in physics, so ...
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1answer
246 views

Can encrypted information be sent back in time while avoiding the Unproven Theorem Paradox?

Background: The Unproven Paradox involves sending a mathematical proof to individuals in the past that is obtained from the fact that there is a recipient in the past that publicly reveals the proof. ...
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4answers
202 views

What fallacy or branch of philosophy is this?

I've recently been critiquing some fluffy answers on another stack exchange and I been encountering this type of fluffy evasive answer: The question asks about the future; all future is ...
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4answers
2k views

Can an event without a cause take place? [duplicate]

I am sure there must have been several philosophers in history who have investigated this question. However finding any specific and good research on that topic is not easy. In our everyday life, ...
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3answers
168 views

Why do all consciousnesses seem to be in the present?

We exist across time, but have this special place in time called the present. In my naive thinking about the present, it doesn't seem to have any special significance except that all consciousnesses (...
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1answer
128 views

Temporally stable determination of value in consequentialism

If one is a consequentialist, one at least implicitly makes decisions based on how good or bad the consequences are. As such, you must implicitly have a function f that maps from the set of ...
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3answers
205 views

How can one in principle distinguish causality from observed regularity?

Hume showed that one cannot infer cause & effect in nature by induction alone. We only notice that when event A occurs then so does event B. If event A always occurs before event B we are still ...
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1answer
407 views

Is time “Unreal”? [closed]

In 5th century BC Greece, Antiphon the Sophist, in a fragment preserved from his chief work On Truth, held that: "Time is not a reality (hypostasis), but a concept (noêma) or a measure (metron)." ...
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1answer
134 views

Transcendental Idealism and past time

According to Kant, time is part of the phenomenal realm. What would Kant say about past events such as the big bang when no minds existed? Would he say we can't know such things?
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5answers
686 views

Can anything truly be simultaneous?

I was looking at a discussion about simultaneous causation and something that came up was that all physical processes take time. So nothing can truly be simultaneous. And yet, we have philosophers ...
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1answer
227 views

Concepts of state and transition as used by Kierkegaard

While reading Søren Kierkegaard's "The Concept of Anxiety", I asked myself how much of the temporal interpretation of dialectic and the interaction between state and transition (leap) are original to ...
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1answer
142 views

Philosophical implications of supplemental “time-like” dimensions?

Philosopher John G. Bennett proposed the idea that there are actually three time-like dimensions, in addition to the usual three spatial dimensions. I would be curious to learn what the ...
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5answers
608 views

If I am infinitely old , can I have a father?

If I am infinitely old , can I have a father ? And can I have a brother that is infinitely older than me but younger than my dad ?
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3answers
671 views

Are the experiences of the “flow of time” and of “cause and effect” qualia?

Physics and biology have no answer why or how we personally experience the color red and we say that the experience of the color red is a quale. Physics also has no answer why or how we experience ...
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8answers
645 views

Is the notion of a “speed” of time a logical one?

Most of out time-measuring instruments are based on repetitive physical phenomenon. These phenomenon repeat and every time their state matches the one in our recent memory, we tend to acknowledge, ...
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2answers
233 views

Must the present be instantaneous in a non-deterministic universe?

The special relativity theory teaches us that simultaneity is relative to the motion of our reference frame. This seems to contradict the intuitive notion of the present to be instantaneous. Some ...
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1answer
285 views

Does Bergson view symbols negatively or only as a secondary source of knowledge?

In the Introduction to Metaphysics, metaphysics is defined as "that science which claims to dispense with symbols." Bergson contends that the human mind operates discursively, or by taking snapshots ...
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1answer
151 views

Does Asharite atomism affirm that space & time must necessarily be atomic?

I've read (probably in wikipedia but can't track down the reference now) that the Asharite strand in Islamic theology couldn't accept that substance necessarily exists pre-eternally as the Quoran ...
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1answer
82 views

Is there a point in universe that is observable at present? [closed]

We know that we can see distant galaxies only billions years before now. We can observe the nearest stars just several years before the present. Something on the Moon can be observed only some seconds ...
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9answers
9k views

Is time a physical factor or just a concept?

When thinking of cycles and myths, one cannot pass the idea of Kronos or Kali. That brought me to form some questions about the nature of time. Three definitions for time: Time is a measure of the ...
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6answers
594 views

Does there necessarily have to be a beginning to time?

Although, I can conceive of a potentially infinite amount of time ahead of me, for it is not actual as it remains to be experienced, I can't conceive of a potentially infinite amount of time behind me,...