• javra
    81
    They don't require a period of time--they are what time is in the first place. Time isn't something separate from changes/motion.Terrapin Station

    The "morphing" is the present.Terrapin Station

    We’re in agreement with this.

    I think what most of the others are getting at is that, were the present as we experience it to be real, our non-illusory sense of the present would not of itself resolve the many problems in physics regarding the nature of time.

    This can be viewed in parallel to Zeno’s paradoxes: I choose to believe there’s something wrong with the conceptual premises of the paradoxes rather than choosing to believe that motion/change is itself a nonreality. This, though, doesn’t in itself resolve Zeno’s paradoxes … and the premises used for the paradox are common to measurements/maths of space and time; e.g. geometric points, lines, etc.
  • jkop
    339
    There is no category mistake here. The claim has ben made that we cannot be mistaken concerning our present experiences. But if fundamental physics demonstrates to us that "the present" is just an illusion, then "present experience" is itself a mistaken concept.Metaphysician Undercover

    Look, an experience is not a phenomenon in fundamental physics but biology. Is there any benefit in interpreting biological phenomena in terms of fundamental physics? I don't think so. Concepts such as the present, the past, apples, experiences etc. might be of little interest or "mistaken" even in descriptions of fundamental physics. Yet they clearly make sense in biology, or in the logic of ordinary language in which statements about the past are logically distinguishable from statements about the present or the future. For an experience which relies on the present features of an object in your visual field it matters little whether their presence refers to some absolute point in time or not.
  • Terrapin Station
    2.7k
    But if fundamental physics demonstrates to us that "the present" is just an illusion, then . . .Metaphysician Undercover

    . . . then "fundamental physics" has a serious flaw.
  • Metaphysician Undercover
    1.3k
    My argument is simply that any instance of a present occurrence which we refer to, can, upon analysis, be determined to be a combination of part past and part future. This is also the case when we refer to a present experience, what we refer to is part past and part future.

    Some who refuse to recognize this, claim that we can be mistaken with respect to the past, and mistaken with respect to the future, but we cannot be mistaken with respect to out present experience. But clearly this is wrong if what we refer to as the present is nothing more than part past and part future.
  • javra
    81
    My argument is simply that any instance of a present occurrence which we refer to, can, upon analysis, be determined to be a combination of part past and part future. This is also the case when we refer to a present experience, what we refer to is part past and part future.Metaphysician Undercover

    It’s interesting to me that when taken verbatim, the same can be upheld for a metaphysics of presentism. I’m not confusing your metaphysics with that of any presentism. It’s just that for presentism to be consistent, the present will logically contain both past and future.

    Here, though, the psyches/sentience of all living beings would be somewhat prioritized, this in all its horrid splendor of complexity. In simple terms, for example, when two or more sentient beings in any way interact, their frame of spatiotemporal reference will synchronize, and this may be further argued to result in the past being fixed, the present being a reality of active interaction, and the future being a realm of possibilities contingent on the fixedness of the past in conjunction with the interactions of the present. And, of course, this can all be constrained by a holistic telos that interacts with all the particulars of any given present.

    This is closer to my own current affinities, and not a projection upon what you're saying, of course.
    … but the problems are always in the details.
  • Metaphysician Undercover
    1.3k
    It’s interesting to me that when taken verbatim, the same can be upheld for a metaphysics of presentism. I’m not confusing your metaphysics with that of any presentism. It’s just that for presentism to be consistent, the present will logically contain both past and future.javra

    Yes, that I believe is the only way to create a valid presentism. What validates "the present" as something real is the very real difference between future and past. Since future and past are radically different, we must assume a division between them, a boundary, and this is the present. This "present" which is assumed as a logical conclusion from the premise that future and past are radically different, cannot be a dimensionless point on a linear timeline, because we have to allow for the human being's experience of existing at the present, and nothing could exist at a dimensionless point in time.

    In simple terms, for example, when two or more sentient beings in any way interact, their frame of spatiotemporal reference will synchronize, and this may be further argued to result in the past being fixed, the present being a reality of active interaction, and the future being a realm of possibilities contingent on the fixedness of the past in conjunction with the interactions of the present.javra

    A new trend in presentism is to give the present a separate temporal dimension, I call it breadth. From this assumption, time has two dimensions. There is the familiar temporal dimension which is the directional line or arrow which we are all familiar with, traditional time, but also there is width to that line, which allows for the activities of the present. It can be described like this. At the present, the future is continuously becoming the past. The moment in the future from now rapidly becomes the moment in the past from now, as the now of the present appears to change its temporal location. But we should not represent this as the now moving, the now is our static reference point, what is changing is that future time is becoming past time. As a "becoming", this is a process which itself takes time. So this "becoming", the "active interaction" of the present must have temporal dimension itself, to allow for such activity at the present. Therefore we need to introduce a second dimension of time to account for this activity which occurs at the present, which itself is a fixed division between past and future. What happens is that the present is now not a dimensionless point, but a point with its own dimension.
  • Rich
    323
    The "morphing" is the present.Terrapin Station

    The issue is that the cannot find a present within a process. It is impossible. There is no instantaneous non-motion within a continuous motion. Try as anyone might, it is impossible to b stop the passage of time (motion) to create a present. It is gone into the past memory. The notion of present has to be jetisoned, otherwise one has to deal with Zeno's paradox. There is no instantaneous moment of now or present. It doesn't exist. What there is is a continuous, process of flux. Actually, Heraclitus had it right.
  • Rich
    323
    That you'd see this as suggesting that there's no present rather than saying "per this way of systematically thinking about things, it suggests there's no present, therefore we must have royally fucked up somehow with this approach to systematic thinking" is ridiculous. That's the worst sort of theory worship.Terrapin Station

    I would say that "Living in the Now" one form of theory worship. What we are living in is constant change. Constant, never stopping, no matter how much one wish to measure or idolize the Present, it simply cannot be done.
  • javra
    81
    A new trend in presentism is to give the present a separate temporal dimension, I call it breadth. [...] What happens is that the present is now not a dimensionless point, but a point with its own dimension.Metaphysician Undercover

    I like that. Rather than a geometric point, a sphere whose volume is in perpetual flux may be a better mapping of the present’s breadth. This fits in well with my current views.

    There’s the present of experience. Then there’s the objective present of the physical world—which, as per what relativity expresses, can be more complex than not.

    The present of experience, what William James termed the “specious present”, is always in flux. In listening to some sound, say a birdsong, there’s the breadth of time that the duration of song is within the experienced present prior to it becoming experienced memory. We like to quantify time. Nevertheless, in listening to a bird’s chirp (simpler than a melody or a conversation) there’s always an extended duration of the present moment that is not itself quantifiable. It’s not moment 1; stop of moment 1 and start of moment 2; moment 2; etc. It’s a fluid transition without discernable, temporal parts—resulting in a fluid whole that nevertheless is. What’s more, the present moment consists—at least in part—of the same fluid transition to an extended duration applicable to all that is taken in by all senses and introspections. Furthermore, part of what I mean to say by the experienced present moment being in flux is that this extension of the present moment can be wider or narrower—this to certain limitations. For example, an intense stimuli will be brief and acute, often resulting in narrower duration of the experienced present moment relative to what is normal.

    So while I find the breadth of the experienced present to be in flux I nevertheless deem it present to awareness; in other words, the experienced moment is to me real and not specious.

    The difficulties for me are in going from an acknowledgment that all sentience (and not only sapience) experiences some breadth of the present—this by definition due to their capacity to sense/perceive information—to … well, to physical time (aka objective time). But, again, if each sentient being is its own frame of reference, then objective time would in one way or another unfold due to simultaneity resulting from interactions … similar enough to what relativity endorses.

    Eah, a difficult topic. Thanks for the heads up as to the new research in presentism. I’ll do my best to look into it.
  • Terrapin Station
    2.7k
    There is no instantaneous non-motion within a continuous motion.Rich

    Why would you be trying to peg an "instantaneous non-motion" though? Again, the present is the changes that are occurring from a particular reference "point" or situatedness.
  • aletheist
    608
    Again, the present is the changes that are occurring from a particular reference "point" or situatedness.Terrapin Station

    By the laws of non-contradiction and excluded middle, X is never both Y and not-Y at the same time, and X is always either Y or not-Y at any assignable time. Suppose that X is Y at time T1 and not-Y at time T2; i.e., X changes from Y to not-Y sometime between T1 and T2. There can be no particular instant of time between T1 and T2 when X is changing from Y to not-Y; it is always either one or the other, and never both. Hence if everything is particular, including time, then there is no "present" at which changes "are occurring," just discrete instants before and after each change.
  • Rich
    323


    In such case, your Present, is a process of constant change. There is no instanteous but a movement that represents all that has happened and where it is flowing into. This is fine, as long as it is recognized that there is no state that one can refer to as a Present but rather a continuous flow. It is simply a reimagining of the concept of Present from a state to a flow. However, there is no reference point. Everything is in flux.
  • Terrapin Station
    2.7k
    There is no instanteous but a movement that represents all that has happened and where it is flowing into.Rich

    Represents?

    Anyway, I wouldn't say that's it's not a state or that it's not the present. States are dynamic. I also would say that it's a "reimagining" of what "present" refers to. I'd say that the misnomer is that it's "instantaneous non-motion"
  • Terrapin Station
    2.7k
    Hence if everything is particular, including time, then there is no "present" at which changes "are occurring," just discrete instants before and after each change.aletheist

    It's not that the present is something at which changes are occurring. The present is the changes that are occurring. It's like you guys can't help but think in terms of mathematical points and stasis.
  • Rich
    323


    States can be considered the condition of something at a particular time. Embracing this view, that is the instantaneous time, is what manifests the Zeno' paradoxes. If your imagining of Present had no instant, has no state, and had no reference point, then it simply creates a flowing "present" from the past moving into some future. This is quite different than what one can imagine had the Now.

    However, if your present can be harness as a stoppage of the flow, with a reference point, and a state, then you are back to Zenos paradox with nothing moving or changing. In other words, time has to be envisioned as a continuous flow or we have paradoxes. You can refer to this for as the Present if you wish. Bergson used the word Dureé.
  • aletheist
    608
    The present is the changes that are occurring.Terrapin Station

    If everything is particular, then there are no "changes that are occurring." If everything is always either P or not-P, then nothing is ever in some intermediate state of changing from P to not-P. The occurrence of the change is what distinguishes one discrete instant from the next, and there are no instants between them to label as "the present."
  • Terrapin Station
    2.7k
    States can be considered the condition of something at a particular time.Rich

    Okay, but time is (identical to) change or motion, so there is no "particular time" without change or motion.

    There are no real points, period. It's just a mathematical construct.

    This doesn't blur the present with the past or future. Again, the present is the changes that are happening as opposed to the changes that happened or the changes that will happen. That doesn't imply that there's no relative fuzziness there, either, but it doesn't make the present the same as the past and/or future.
  • Terrapin Station
    2.7k
    If everything is particular,aletheist

    Again, "particular" is the opposite of there being something that's identically instantiated in numerically distinct entities. Are we clear on that?

    And another again, no one is talking about point-like "instants"--are we clear on that, too?
  • aletheist
    608
    Again, particular is the opposite of there being something that's identically instantiated in numerically distinct entities. Are we clear on that?Terrapin Station

    Sure, but what does that have to do with my objection? Do you deny that everything is always - i.e., at all times - either P or not-P, where P is some particular property?

    And another again, no one is talking about point-like "constants"--are we clear on that, too?Terrapin Station

    Did you mean point-like "instants"? Let me put it this way instead: If something changes from P to not-P, then there is a time T1 at which it is P and a time T2 at which it is not-P, with no time in between during which it "is changing" from P to not-P.
  • Rich
    323


    I think you will have to think it through, since it seems you want to distinguish a Present (a particular state) from a past (I won't get into the notion of a "future"). If the two just blend into each other as a flow, then you are simply using a different word for Bergson's Dureé. The only problem then is the word you choose to represent the process since most commonly the Present would be used to describe an instantaneous that can be distinguished from the Past. I'm not sure whether or not you are actually trying to do this. If you are, it simply cannot be done in a continuous flow.
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