Temporal Experience
Paul (L.A.)
Source: The Journal of Philosophy, Vol. 107, No. 7 (July 2010), pp. 333-359
Paper - Abstract

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Author’s Introduction

  1. I step out of my house into the morning air and feel the cool breeze on my face. I feel the freshness of the cool breeze now, and, as the breeze dies down, I notice that time is passing. I need to start walking or I will be late for class.
  2. We all know what it is like to have these sorts of experiences. Reflection on the qualitative character of such experiences suggests that events occurring now have a characteristic property of nowness, responsible for a certain special "feel," and that events pass from the future to the present and then into the past.
  3. The question that I want to explore is whether we should take this suggestion to support an antireductionist ontology of time, that is, whether we should take it to support an ontology that includes a primitive, monadic property of nowness, responsible for the special feel of events in the present, and a relation of passage that events instantiate in virtue of literally passing from the future to the present and then into the past.
  4. It will be important in what follows to avoid prejudging whether the world actually does include nowness and passage, so I will use the locution "as of" instead of just "of" to signal that descriptions like "experience as of passage" merely describe experiences with a certain qualitative character.

Text Colour Conventions (see disclaimer)

  1. Blue: Text by me; © Theo Todman, 2017
  2. Mauve: Text by correspondent(s) or other author(s); © the author(s)



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