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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281 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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276 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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119 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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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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4answers
122 views

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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1answer
257 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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1answer
100 views

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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126 views

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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275 views

Self determination in non atomistic time?

I am reading the book Perspective in Whitehead's Metaphysics by Stephen David Ross. On page 182 he says, "whiteheads theory of events is atomistic-primarily to allow for self determination, but the ...
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3answers
171 views

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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84 views

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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9answers
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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 ...
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29 views

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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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 time: ...
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1answer
63 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
75 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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1answer
110 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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43 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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1answer
252 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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2answers
143 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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115 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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119 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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2answers
172 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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4answers
528 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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5answers
1k views

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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6answers
276 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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9answers
427 views

Why must everything have an origin, but not an ending?

I came across this thinking today when I was reading some evolutionary biology writings. Human beings tend to accept that everything must be traced back to something else, or an origin, starting point;...
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66 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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2answers
117 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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2answers
112 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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4answers
2k views

Time as a physical dimension

What is the intuition behind time being a physical dimension? I read the phrase "in cosmology terms, far away means long ago" somewhere and I got to thinking what if time is an emergent property of ...
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10answers
12k 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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2answers
102 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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1answer
239 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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1answer
240 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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0answers
50 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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0answers
125 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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15answers
17k 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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58 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
385 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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2answers
239 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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8answers
2k 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 ...
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0answers
42 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
257 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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0answers
80 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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6answers
290 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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5answers
1k views

Philosophy - Does Einstein's Block Universe theory prove Nietzsche's Eternal Return theory is true?

If the Past, Present, and Future all exist in exactly the same way, then every single moment would be a ‘Now’ moment for me. it would also mean that me being dead in the future is equally real in the ...
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1answer
131 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
397 views

How should we read Tractatus' proposition 6.4311?

How should we read Tractatus' proposition 6.4311? Death is not an event of life. Death is not lived through. If by eternity is understood not endless temporal duration but timelessness, then he ...
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21answers
6k views

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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