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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Philosophy - Does the block universe theory of time mean that life will repeat after death?

I have suffered severe anxiety, sadness, regret, and depression since I was 13, I had 2 trapped-feeling panic attacks when I was 13 I am now 17 and fighting off frequent urges to have a trapped-...
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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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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 ...
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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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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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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 ...
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Once it happened, an event was necessary?

What would happen to an event in the past, if time itself ceases to exist? Without time, has what existed (such as the writing of this sentence) never happened? A total disappearance of space-time ...
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5answers
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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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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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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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272 views

Many-worlds Interpretation defeats the Doomsday argument?

By making the a priori assumption that we are equally likely to be anywhere along the chronological list of humans, the Doomsday argument implies that our position n is correlated with the future ...
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142 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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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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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 ...
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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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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 ...
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What did Parmenides mean when he argued that there can be no change and no time?

In the ongoing trouble with Parmenides' cryptic poem, which contains his argument against change, I finally stumbled upon an interpretation that is radically different than the usual one. It is by ...
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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....
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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 river......
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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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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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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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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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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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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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895 views

Is Time just an idea?

All the things we perceive undergo changes as time goes by. Even if we didn't do anything, Time does 'its work'. For communication we use this word as an idea. If 'Time' were an idea it couldn't ...
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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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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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If consciousness is an emergent property of brain state, does this mean that we can only truly exist for 1 Planck unit of time?

Suppose my self-awareness, consciousness, point of view (POV) or qualia is not a "thing in itself" but rather an intrinsic emergent property of my brain's current brain state. Then, as my brain ...
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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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relative merits of presentism, eternalism and the growing block universe [closed]

What are the relative merits of the different philosphies of time. Presentism states that only the present now exists, a la Julian Barbour. Eternalism posits an object spacetime stage where everything ...
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238 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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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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246 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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2answers
138 views

Does the essentially Western concept of causality form a philosophical dialectic with the Jungian concept of synchronicity?

At least since the outbreak of the Industrial Revolution, Western Thinking has seen the universe organized along the line of cause and effect, so that, since the Big Bang, the universe has, ...
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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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1answer
105 views

Can we know a predicate without a subject, non-propositionally? [closed]

Can we have non-propositional knowledge, for example knowledge of a predicate without a subject? I think an example would be: only this is now, which uses indexicals. I'm asking because I wonder ...
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1answer
181 views

Philosophy - If both the Rebound Universe and Block Universe theories are true would that mean Nietzsche's Eternal Return theory true?

If the Block Universe is true, and if the Rebound Universe is also true where the universe goes from Big Crunch to Big bang then doesn't that mean that the Block Universe is shaped like a circle where ...
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288 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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1answer
92 views

Can we express the present tense without indexicality? [closed]

Can we express the present tense without indexicality? If so, what would that expression refer to, a present that did not chnage tense?
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Can everything that exists have no beginning or end?

Can everything that exists have no beginning? I'm not asking about religious notions (as all the other questions I saw on here seemed to be about), if there must be a God to create a universe that ...