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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26
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15answers
16k views

Being alive today: the most improbable coincidence?

Think about it; modern humans have been around for at least a couple hundred thousand years. Yet, your mind, your soul, your very awareness, happens to be "alive" today. If time is a flow, moving ...
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19answers
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Can time exist without change?

Imagine an event of one second in length, like two hands clapping. Suppose that another interval of time elapses between the clap, a period in which nothing happens in the whole universe (or in all ...
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10answers
716 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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8answers
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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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4answers
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Can we fit non-euclidean geometry into Kant's theory?

If one assumes that the geometry of pure intuition is something other than Euclidean, how does that damage anything in the Critique? I mean can we still have a grasp of space-time both as an ...
13
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9answers
3k views

What ethical problems might be involved in time travel?

Has anyone addressed the ethics of time travel? Time travel looks like a gold mine for moral dilemmas, but I don't know of anyone who addresses these issues. For example: Am I morally obligated to ...
11
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3answers
2k views

Does thermal time hypothesis finally resolve Zeno's paradox?

Is Time Just A Trick Of The Mind? (read article) Carlo Rovelli, one of the founder of Loop Quantum Gravity theory likes to think so. Furthermore wikipedia entry highlights: This position has lead ...
10
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3answers
706 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 ...
9
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5answers
3k views

Can we be Boltzmann brains? Or, how can we be sure there is no conspiracy about the past?

The way things are traditionally presented about time, there is the present, the past is fixed, and the future is open. The second law of thermodynamics is invoked. But how can we be so sure the past ...
9
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4answers
444 views

Is there a logic that takes time into account?

I hope this is neither too simple nor off-topic; I apologize if so. I have just noticed that standard sentence logic seems to make assumptions about time in determining the truth/falsity of a ...
9
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8answers
664 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, ...
8
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3answers
777 views

How do proponents of the Cosmological argument respond to the nature of time?

How do proponents of the Cosmological argument respond to the nature of time? Is asking what occurred before the Big Bang like asking what is north of the North Pole? http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/...
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5answers
801 views

How is knowing that I am going to die influencing my life?

Does the fact that I know I am going to die make me superior in a sense to all the other living creatures that have no understanding of this event? Is the fact that I know that one day I am going to ...
8
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2answers
581 views

What is the role of the a priori nature of time in intuitionism?

According to Brouwer, intuitionists abandoned Kant's apriority of space but adhered to the idea that time was a priori. This Intuitionism considers the "falling apart of moments of life into two ...
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6answers
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Time and space – a subject of metaphysics?

The entry metaphysics from SEP (Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy) also deals with space and time, see chapter 3.2. I am not convinced that metaphysics does contribute with any new insight to the ...
8
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1answer
378 views

What is the Anti-Realist and Constructionist interpretation of empirical dating methods and existence of the past?

I'm fairly interested in the realism, anti-realism debate and would like to hear, if possible by an anti-realist or constructivist, how dating methods fit into their world view. As a realist, dating ...
8
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5answers
715 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 ...
7
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1answer
686 views

What does Heidegger mean by saying that Bergson's concept of time is essentially spatial?

In Being and Time, Heidegger writes: This task as a whole requires that the concept of time thus gained be distinguished from the common understanding of it. The latter has become explicit in an ...
7
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3answers
214 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 ...
7
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1answer
565 views

What does the “essence of time” mean for Merleau-Ponty?

“it is of the essence of time to be not only actual time, or time which flows, but also time which is aware of itself … the archetype of the relationship of self to self” What does he mean by '...
7
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1answer
181 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 ...
7
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1answer
153 views

Self determination in non atomistic time?

I am reading the book " perspective in whiteheads metaphysics" by Stephen David Ross. On page 182 he says" whiteheads theory of events is atomistic-primarily to allow for self determination, but the ...
6
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7answers
639 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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3answers
1k views

Is the B-theory of time compatible with libertarian free will?

As I understand the B-theory of time it says that we can talk about things happening in time just by using tenseless sentences — which for me implies that the past, present and future are equally real....
6
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4answers
981 views

What is actual is a metaphysical necessity?

You look out of the window and it's raining. You grab a bottle and pour some water into a glass. You probably don't consider these events as necessary: it could have been a sunny day and you were free ...
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4answers
311 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 ...
6
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2answers
657 views

What is the relation between Spirit and Time in Hegel?

Martin Heidegger in his Being and Time criticized the connection between Spirit and Time proposed by Hegel saying that: Hegel shows the possibility of the historical actualization of spirit "in ...
6
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4answers
396 views

Are time and space just containers or are they autonomous physical objects?

Are the past, present and future real aspects of reality or are they just features of our experience of time? Is there no more to time and space than the temporal and spatial relations which hold ...
6
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1answer
2k views

Why did Kant say space and time do not exist independent of us?

As far as I know, Immanuel Kant (1724-1804) believed that space and time do not exist objectively, independent of us, and that they are added by our minds to our perceptions. I am eager to know what ...
6
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1answer
297 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 ...
6
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3answers
258 views

Has any philosopher ever claimed that possibility can't really be tensed?

Has any philosopher ever claimed that possibility can't really be tensed? So that whatever will be possible is possible now. I really have no idea, and would love an answer. I'll add my motive, so ...
6
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1answer
234 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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12answers
4k views

Is there such thing as the present?

I know there are other hypotheses on time, but for this question lets go with this definition of time: The indefinite, constant, continued progress of existence. Now we have the three parts of ...
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5answers
208 views

Should viable philosophical theories not always be consistent with science?

One of the phenomena of modern philosophy which has troubled me, particularly in the discussion of analytical metaphysics, is its almost complete disregard for established science. It's as if ...
5
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8answers
1k views

Change Without Time

I came across this comment: You won't understand this answer, but here we go: Time and space are intrinsically connected. You cannot have one without the other. Before the Big Bang there was no ...
5
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6answers
1k views

Infinite past with a beginning?

I can conceive of an infinite past with a beginning. I can in fact represent this idea by a simple diagram, part analogical, part symbolic. So, to me, this idea is a logical possibility. I initially ...
5
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9answers
580 views

How can God be temporal if he never began?

I was reading through this article and it says: What may be the dominant view of philosophers today is that he is temporal but everlasting; that is, God never began to exist and he never will go ...
5
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7answers
289 views

If nothing happens, does time still pass?

This question may have been asked before; actually, it's definitely been asked before, since it's on the topic of whether time is real or a man-made construct, but I don't believe it has yet been ...
5
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3answers
458 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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3answers
168 views

Could reality be a projection of another reality?

I'm new to metaphysics. So, I apologize if this is an established question. I've been asking the question, could reality be a projection of another reality? In geometry, you can project a three ...
5
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3answers
2k views

What would a fractal universe tell us about Time?

To begin with let's look at what is known as the coastline paradox. Briefly it goes like this: If you measure the circumference of Britain with a 1km long stick, and then do the same with a 100m long ...
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2answers
132 views

Must an eternal object be uncaused?

Let's say that we grant that item "X" is eternal. By "eternal" we mean that it has always existed and that it always will exist. Because "X" is eternal, does it follow that it MUST be uncaused?
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5answers
239 views

Is time more “real” than math and, if so, why?

How is time different from math? Is time a part of math? For me time is like math rather than a "real" thing. Time is just a tool rather than a "fundamental thing". I feel confident saying that an ...
5
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1answer
548 views

What is the difference between eternalism and the B theory of time?

I've always treated eternalism and the B theory of time as largely synonymous and thought they just refer to the perspective of viewing the universe as a single static entity with "slices" or "...
5
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1answer
2k views

How do perdurantism and endurantism differ in their approach to the Ship of Theseus?

I'm having trouble understanding the exact viewpoints of perdurantism, and endurantism. I understand that perdurantists believe in temporal parts, and endurantists believe in only spacial parts, but I ...
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5answers
622 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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6answers
619 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,...
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3answers
5k views

What is time for Bergson? And how is it different from duration?

I stumbled across references to Bergson while reading Photography, Cinema, Memory: The Crystal Image of Time. I started reading "Bergson's Conception of Duration" in The Philosophical Review to ...
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6answers
462 views

Does the mind only conceive of one object at a time?

Is there a way to determine if the mind conceives of only one object at a time? This is not to say that the mind only perceives of one thing at a time, but rather that it can think of only one thing ...
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5answers
1k views

Is there a theory of time consistent with Heraclitus?

Heraclitus is recorded as saying: Upon those who step into the same river, different and again different waters flow (Arius Didymus, Dox. Gr.) It is not possible to step twice into the same ...