Time and Experience

Time and Experience

Time and Experience

Time and Experience

Synopsis

"This is a sophisticated, scholarly study that is distinctive in the ways it combines a philosophical analysis of time with an analysis of modern phenomenology and these, in turn, with the author's independent approach toward explaining 'the special temporality of human beings.'... A fine piece of work."
- Gerald E. Myers

Excerpt

Ordinary experience seems both to take place in time and to concern things that happen in time. This seemingly simple fact is the starting point for the most profound set of philosophical issues concerning human conscious existence and our awareness of other entities. Time essentially includes some type of separation of temporal parts. To be aware of anything that happens in time, human consciousness must unify into one experience the appropriate temporal parts of what is experienced. How human consciousness is able to do this, what it means for the ontology of consciousness, and what it reveals about the ontological reality of time are the subjects of this investigation.

How time and conscious experience are related may be the deepest philosophical issue because it bears importantly upon most other ultimate questions. Diverse religious traditions have questioned whether conscious life really begins and ends in time and whether it really takes place in time at all. Discussions of free will and responsibility inevitably gravitate around whether and how consciousness is in time, as do puzzles about personal identity. Metaphysical and epistemological theories that are grounded in experience have to confront the problems concerning how the experience of temporally extended events and changes in these events are possible. The list could go on and on.

This book examines the relationship of time and conscious experience through three tightly interconnected issues: how we are able to be conscious of time and temporal entities, whether time exists . . .

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