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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6answers
216 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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2answers
81 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
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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
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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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1answer
102 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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2answers
94 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
221 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
220 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
44 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
49 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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2answers
250 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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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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52 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
351 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
136 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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2answers
235 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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1answer
42 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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8answers
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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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1answer
53 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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0answers
35 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
239 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
76 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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2answers
188 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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6answers
170 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
986 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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3answers
477 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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1answer
116 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
344 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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3answers
105 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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0answers
36 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
148 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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2answers
276 views

If time is emergent, how can time exist in a Christian heaven?

Many physicists say that time is an emergent property from quantum phenomenon, such as entanglement. Many Christians theologians also posit that time will exist in heaven, forever. Let's say that ...
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2answers
135 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
170 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
170 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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3answers
336 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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1answer
130 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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5answers
455 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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6answers
411 views

Time travel and changing the past

Many philosophers argue that time travel is possible without causally affecting the past? Is it even possible to time travel without causally affecting the past. The grandfather paradox is an ...
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1answer
492 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 ...
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0answers
59 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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1answer
4k 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 ...
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2answers
123 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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2answers
152 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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0answers
123 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
106 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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0answers
24 views

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
125 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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