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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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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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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How does time flow in presentism?

In Presentism, where only the present exists; the past and future do not - how then does time 'flow'? To 'flow' requires a motion; for example, in the standard physical presentation of a moving ...
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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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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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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 ...
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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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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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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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To tense or not to tense?

In The Nature of Existence [Volume II: Reality - 1988 paperback edition, p.10] McTaggart distinguished between two senses of time: The A-Series, to 'that series of positions which run from the far ...
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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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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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Is it possible for two instantaneous events, one predicated on the other, to happen at the exact same time?

As the title states lets say there are two events, one is essentially the product/result of the other. Both events are absolutely instantaneous. Could these events occur at the exact same time?
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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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Can we doubt that we are conscious? That we are not dead?

Obviously Descartes would suggest that we can't doubt that we think, because doubt is a cognitive attitude. But is it one that occurs when we think it does, i.e. can I doubt that I am typing this now ...
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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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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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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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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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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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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 ...
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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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Is the cosmological principle empircally compativle with the concept of relativity?

OK...before everyone blasts this with references to the relativistic invariance of the physical laws, time dilation, etc let me add some context. Also, I am an amateur with an interest in physics, so ...
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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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What fallacy or branch of philosophy is this?

I've recently been critiquing some fluffy answers on another stack exchange and I been encountering this type of fluffy evasive answer: The question asks about the future; all future is ...
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Can an event without a cause take place? [duplicate]

I am sure there must have been several philosophers in history who have investigated this question. However finding any specific and good research on that topic is not easy. In our everyday life, ...
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Why do all consciousnesses seem to be in the present?

We exist across time, but have this special place in time called the present. In my naive thinking about the present, it doesn't seem to have any special significance except that all consciousnesses (...
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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 ...
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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 ...