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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437 views

Derrida and 'time is out of joint'

What is the deal with Derrida and the notion of time? Why is Derrida so obsessed with time and the famous phrase from Hamlet, "time is out of joint."? I am reading Spectres of Marx, and am unable to ...
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256 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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2answers
150 views

What is the sense of primitive expressions?

According to The B Theory, there are no genuine, unanalyzable A properties, and all talk that appears to be about A properties is really reducible to talk about B relations. Does this B theorist, ...
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4answers
2k views

Do the future and the past exist?

It is not very odd in spiritual teachings to deny the existence of the future and the past, there is only 'now'. But are there philosophers who also denied the existence of the future and past? It ...
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8answers
972 views

What proof do we have that time is moving forward?

We mark the progress of time by a thin line between past memories and no memories (the future). If time is actually flowing backwards or even standing still we would not know it. If memories are ...
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2answers
154 views

Must time flow?

In Newtons Principia he wrote: Absolute, true and mathematical time, of itself, and from its own nature flows equably without regard to anything external, and by another name is called duration. ...
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3answers
110 views

Events without a time after them

It is possible to say what time it is for someone (it's 1 AM here): so why can't we construct a B series for them? Is it reasonable to do so, and what would the word for the series be? There is no ...
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1answer
205 views

Does the existence of time dilation effects imply presentism?

I apologize in advance for the wording. Human languages - and most especially English, or so it seems - are not very good with time. If you understand what I've written but can think of a better way ...
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1answer
93 views

Why does a formal language not need to specify time interval to be interpreted? [closed]

I am reading a book about history of mathematics, and it inspired to think about that formal languages do not need to specify time to transfer a message. I am thinking about DNA as a formal language, ...
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2answers
130 views

Why do we confine ourselves to static ‘thing’ logic when we are dealing formally with time, which is dynamic?

All ‘temporal’ logic statements are expressed in solely static terms that can be compared to static reference phrases or related to the number line and evaluated with arithmetic. For example, ...
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54 views

Does a discussion of McTaggert's B series appear in continental philosophy?

I have thought about it, in my own terms, long enough to think that there's no A series. But maybe this can inspire me to something more interesting, less analytic. Do any continental philosophers ...
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36 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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1answer
1k views

Can anyone explain what do they mean by, 'The past is just a story we tell ourselves'? [closed]

Even if we keep repeating our past to ourselves, still it is not just a story, I think so. It is something that happened to us, the experience is not a story.
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38 views

Senses without phenomenology: are they quales?

Can there be sense experience without phenomenological existence, in the Husserlian sense of the things themselves being given to consciousness? Are they like something? Just as the smell of mint has ...
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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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3answers
78 views

What aspects of the problem of induction are simplified if you employ the B-theory of time?

What aspects of the problem of induction are simplified if you consider the problem using the B-theory of time? A rough idea why this might be relevant: First consider an urn with a finite number of ...
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127 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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8answers
693 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
124 views

Is taking a drug that makes us mentally go back in time and simulate our life in sleep the same as doing it “physically”? [closed]

Imagine if you had done something really bad in the past which had caused you suffering in the present. You really want to go back in time and change it. Unfortunately, at the moment, it's impossible ...
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4answers
219 views

Does McTaggert say “the past that exists now won't always be the past”?

Does McTaggert or anyone say this about the A series? Would it be nonsense to do so? The past exists now [because now is the end of the past] but no time always exists now: so the past that exists ...
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1answer
214 views

Does the Big bang imply Absolute time? [closed]

The Big bang was conceived after an empirical discovery made a few decades later than Einstein's theorizing of Special relativity. All our physical space appears to have expanded from singular point, ...
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6answers
464 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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3answers
137 views

Thin conceptions of time

WIkipedia says: In philosophy, a thick concept (sometimes: thick normative concept, or thick evaluative concept) is a kind of concept that both has a significant degree of descriptive content ...
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2answers
224 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 ...
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2answers
135 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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1answer
192 views

What are conceptions of time and space? [closed]

EDITED: First of all i make clear what i need to know. There may be too many theories about time, space and their relations. What i want to know: Is there some conceptions that are taken as MAIN ...
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61 views

Taking now seriously (rather than tense) [closed]

McTaggert says time includes an "irreducible" A series, of the past present and future flowing on like we're used to. I think he says that the A series cannot exist so time isn't real. McTaggart ...
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113 views

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
181 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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3answers
267 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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4answers
461 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 ...
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3answers
535 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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1answer
84 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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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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416 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
94 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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1answer
137 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
87 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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1answer
245 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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3answers
114 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
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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85 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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1answer
125 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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3answers
242 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
185 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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5answers
370 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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1answer
259 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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1answer
269 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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3answers
70 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
845 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 ...