• Constance
    269
    Inspired by reading Kierkegaard's Concept of Anxiety to pose the question, one which anticipated future existential thinkers. Here is a passage which really provides the original exposition:
    One can, quite generally, in defining the concepts of the past, the future, and the eternal, see how one has defined the instant. If there is no instant, then the eternal appears behind as the past. It is as when I imagine a man walking along a road but do not posit the pacing, and the road then appears behind him as the distance covered. If the instant is posited but merely as a discrimen [division], then the future is the eternal. If the instant is posited, so is the eternal, but also the future which reappears as the past. This is clearly to be seen in the Greek, the Jewish, and the Christian views. The concept on which everything turns in Christianity, that which made all things new,* is the fullness of time,† but the fullness of time is the instant as the eternal, and yet this eternal is also the future and the past. If one doesn’t watch out for this, not a single concept can be saved from a heretical and treasonable admixture that annihilates the concept. One then gets the past not by itself, but in a simple continuity with the future (the meaning of world history and the historical development of the individual thereby losing the concepts of conversion, atonement, and redemption). One gets the future not by itself, but in a simple continuity with the present (the concepts of resurrection and judgment being thereby laid in ruins).

    One has to put aside the connotation of terms like 'redemption" and religious ideas in general, and just give the passage its analytical due. It is a framework for a lot of thought to come. What is sin? K asks, and he does this apart from religious dogma, and here, looking only at the structure of time and history. Is there, as K says, a problem of alienation at the most basic level of analysis of "existential" time, that is, lived experience from moment to moment? As resistant as one might be to the idea, eternity has to be taken seriously, as essential to our Being here, for eternity is summarily dismissed by most in the empirical sciences' drive to clarity and existing paradigms. Kierkegaard claims eternity is deep in the structure of experience and I think he is right. After all, how is it that eternity and finitude can be separated at all? This makes no sense, or, it only makes sense if you can treat eternity as a numerical analytic of sequenced events, thereby divesting the concept of meaning, numerical (quantitative) terms being mere abstractions considered AS quantitative divisions. The "fullness of time" (From Galatians. Don't be too put off by this) is to taken very seriously, for, K holds, all of our affairs are encompassed therein, anad it is in the "positing", the revelation of one to oneself, so to speak, that eternity makes its appearance, prior to which there is no "sin". Sin is NOT the angry God concept (of Luther, e.g.) but one of alienation from God and the soul, and these latter stand against our existence in the world.

    What K is saying is that when you become alerted to this fundamental struggle (which is not perceived as a struggle at all when one is in the middle of a normal lived life, and this is therefore pre-sin. This is obviously where Sartre got his prereflective consciousness idea), you see that the meanings we posit in our daily affairs are groundless, and our meanings seem then as lost, in a kind of reversal of alienation whereby now we become alienated to the most familiar, going to work, paying one's taxes, friends and familiy (remember what Jesus says about hating one's parents??), and this is the existential crisis.

    But what really interests me is the way K brings the past and the future "into" the present, for as one reflects, one is always already in the crossroads of eternity, as eternity is overarching and the moment is a synthesis of the past and the future and all possessed by the eternal present. That is, how does one apprehend the past? By thinking about the past, but the thinking is done in the present. How does apprehend the future? By thinking about the future, which is done in the present. Is there REALLY a past or future AT ALL? No.
  • javi2541997
    595
    is, how does one apprehend the past?Constance

    Then, you perfectly said:

    this is the existential crisis.Constance

    Time is one of the toughest challenges of human behaviour. We were born to die. Simple. Nevertheless, we the humans, are ready to fill this time making our lifespan worthy to live. I guess thinking so much about the past is not relatable because this is something we already live so we no longer need to remember this period. Also, past tend to be very dramatic and pessimistic because most of the times we don’t usually have good memories at all.
    What the future holds is upon us. My opinion is trying to find something connected to happiness. This always been the main goal of humanity. We have to reinforce it.
    We are lucky of speaking/debating about it because there are some people in this world that was born just with wars and violence so they do not have the right of think about future. I guess talking about time is like a privilege fortunately we can speak about.
  • Jack Cummins
    2k

    One book which I have come across on this topic is, 'The Eternal Now,' by Eckart Tolle. He suggests that, '
    The eternal present is the space within which your whole life unfolds, the one factor that remains constant. Life is now. There was never a time when your life was not now, nor will there ever be.'
    I recommend his book because it offers a whole meditational reflection and I found it to be extremely inspiring.
  • Constance
    269
    Time is one of the toughest challenges of human behaviour. We were born to die. Simple. Nevertheless, we the humans, are ready to fill this time making our lifespan worthy to live. I guess thinking so much about the past is not relatable because this is something we already live so we no longer need to remember this period. Also, past tend to be very dramatic and pessimistic because most of the times we don’t usually have good memories at all.
    What the future holds is upon us. My opinion is trying to find something connected to happiness. This always been the main goal of humanity. We have to reinforce it.
    We are lucky of speaking/debating about it because there are some people in this world that was born just with wars and violence so they do not have the right of think about future. I guess talking about time is like a privilege fortunately we can speak about.
    javi2541997

    Born to die. But then, it is not the dying is it? It is the caring that we die. You mention a lifespan "worthy" but what is the standard of worth? Of course, there are many answers to this, but here we dismiss incidentals and want to know about what it means to have a standard of worth at all. Something having worth is to care, so why do we care? And what is caring? This goes to ethics and aesthetics, this presence of caring, which is linked to something we care about. In the analysis above, the structure of this caring is time: I care IN time in the form of anticipation, apprehension, excitement, dread and anxiety, and, as you say, happiness, and the like. Though happiness
    Thinking about the past? Here, the past is questioned as having an existence at all. One wants to know what reality is. Thought is an aggregate if the past's experiences, the language and culture, personal and historical, but these are realized only in the present, for the thought IN the past is never observed. It is only the presence that has the reality OF the past in it, evidenced by references to the past, that ever has reality in the moment of recollection. I speak language, but the past in which I learned these is never IN the remembered words, they are only IN the present moment of recollection, making recollection really a present affair after all. And the past? Simply a mode of the present.

    The privilege of being free to muse, that IS something, isn't it? But it goes a little deeper. It is an ethical question at root: why are those Others forced to suffer and die? And then, you and I as well, for one day I will slip and fall into some wretched machine or they'll find an inoperable cancerous tumor at the base of my brain and I'll slip slowly into madness. No one gets out for free. The question again belongs to Kierkegaard. He asks,

    Where am I? Who am I? How came I here? What is this thing called the world? What does this world mean? Who is it that has lured me into the world? Why was I not consulted, why not made acquainted with its manners and customs instead of throwing me into the ranks, as if I had been bought by a kidnapper, a dealer in souls? How did I obtain an interest in this big enterprise they call reality? Why should I have an interest in it? Is it not a voluntary concern? And if I am to be compelled to take part in it, where is the director? I should like to make a remark to him. Is there no director? Whither shall I turn with my complaint?"
  • baker
    1k
    We were born to die.javi2541997
    No, we were born to pay bills, and die.
  • Constance
    269
    The eternal present is the space within which your whole life unfolds, the one factor that remains constant. Life is now. There was never a time when your life was not now, nor will there ever be.'
    I recommend his book because it offers a whole meditational reflection and I found it to be extremely inspiring.
    Jack Cummins

    It is inspiring. Care to take inspiration its logical end? You have to be, I'm afraid, a bit crazy to relate to Kierkegaard, because he take normalcy and turns it on its head, so that what was familiar is now alien. But no worries, as K is a bit like Descartes, and God steps in to save the day. Just when you are at your rope's end, and the world has become like Kafka's cockroach, and you are there, with your bootless cries screaming to heaven about what is going on and why we are born to suffer and die, there is the eternal present, which is God and the soul.

    I like Eckart Tolle, though I haven't read much. He follows through on the tradition of Western mysticism, and I have always held Meister Eckhart in high regard. In a sermon he pleads with God to be rid of God, and this is in the epigraph of John Caputo's book on Derrida, whom he believes affirms God through apophatic philosophy. There is something to this, the idea being what really stands between an earnest inquirer and God is the language that holds belief in place in a way that one hardly even knows one's foundational views are being invisibly constructed. This is how strong the bond of language is. We live in reified language, there a house, here a cloud. What ARE these without the mere familiarity that informs us?
  • Possibility
    2k
    But what really interests me is the way K brings the past and the future "into" the present, for as one reflects, one is always already in the crossroads of eternity, as eternity is overarching and the moment is a synthesis of the past and the future and all possessed by the eternal present. That is, how does one apprehend the past? By thinking about the past, but the thinking is done in the present. How does apprehend the future? By thinking about the future, which is done in the present. Is there REALLY a past or future AT ALL? No.Constance

    I always recommend Carlo Rovelli’s book ‘The Order of Time’, which explores the changing view of time from ancient philosophy to post-Einstein physics, and attempts to deconstruct and then reconstruct this aspect, positing a reality consisting of interrelated events rather than objects. It also touches briefly on the notion of Eternalism as simply the way we experience reality, or the ‘container’ structure of values or potentiality in which these events interact for us.

    We apprehend the past or the future by relating to it from our current position as an ongoing event, which is always changing. Lisa Feldman Barrett describes this from a neuroscience/psychology perspective, in her book ‘How Emotions Are Made’, as an ongoing prediction of attention and effort, generated by past experience and informed by an ongoing state of valence and arousal in the organism. It isn’t so much that past and future don’t really exist, but that our relation to past or future is always relative to an ongoing and variable state of the organism.

    Perhaps it is the present that does not really exist, but is merely what we make of it.
  • javi2541997
    595
    Where am I? Who am I? How came I here? What is this thing called the world? What does this world mean?Constance

    At least you made the effort of making those questions. There are people than don't even care about what's going on around us and I think is even scary to be honest...
    Trying to answer this philosophical questions in my own personal view I would say: I live in Spain but furthermore in a planet called "Earth" that is a big galaxy where thanks to randomness we the humans developed.
    I don't know who I am but I know sometimes I dont like myself.
    We came here because is our path and we have to do it. It is impossible just staying in home and do not do it nothig.
    What the world means is upon us. First, as you perfectly said, time is one of the most tough enemies of humans, something that the Earth doesn't have. So we can start saying humans always put a lot of meaningful stuff.
  • Constance
    269
    I always recommend Carlo Rovelli’s book ‘The Order of Time’, which explores the changing view of time from ancient philosophy to post-Einstein physics, and attempts to deconstruct and then reconstruct this aspect, positing a reality consisting of interrelated events rather than objects. It also touches briefly on the notion of Eternalism as simply the way we experience reality, or the ‘container’ structure of values or potentiality in which these events interact for us.Possibility

    I read through the Amazon free pages of Rovelli, and it's not like I disagree with all he says at all, but tell me briefly what it is that he says that you find compelling. Container structure of values? Eternalism?
  • Constance
    269
    We apprehend the past or the future by relating to it from our current position as an ongoing event, which is always changing. Lisa Feldman Barrett describes this from a neuroscience/psychology perspective, in her book ‘How Emotions Are Made’, as an ongoing prediction of attention and effort, generated by past experience and informed by an ongoing state of valence and arousal in the organism. It isn’t so much that past and future don’t really exist, but that our relation to past or future is always relative to an ongoing and variable state of the organism.

    Perhaps it is the present that does not really exist, but is merely what we make of it.
    Possibility

    This is the position of a lot of philosophers, that the present is impossible, and this is because the very fabric of reality is time: the present is a timeless "instant" and is not an instant at all, really, for to conceive of an instant we have to have in place a notion of duration, which is a quantifiable term. So an instant is just, as K says, a metaphor, the best we can do (Wittgenstein said the same, and he was a big fan of Kierkegaard. But with W the eternal present was a piece of nonsense, but nonsense that is foist upon us, irresistible but irrational, as thus, must be passed over in silence). But it is not an instant; it is an impossible eternity: true eternity lies in this reduction. Anyway, the position is you refer to, this denial of the present, sees the past not merely flowing into, but constituting the future. Having an experience at all is to be in time, for what we call the present is, on analysis, the language, culture, concerns, caring all acquired in ones personal history, and this personalt history, of course, has its own history of evolving through the centuries. So, as the argument goes, there really is no escape from history, for the moment you even ask the question, you are always, already IN the past and this past is going to be determinative of whatever future is "made". Richard Rorty (and his pragmatist predecessors) has the strongest view on this: the Real is reducible to problem solving, even at the level of language use.
    There is a LOT of philosophy about this, and it goes way back, but is it right?

    This is why Kierkegaard is so important. Did we not, the brief sketch above, forget something? As K says, did we not forget that we (or objects, and everything) exist? That we are actualities and not just memories in play. Call the memory in the apperceived moment or event an interpretation, the kind of thing the understanding produces when asked the question, what IS it? The response will be an educated one, framed in language, contextualized in remembered affairs, and so on, and this is what interpretation means. But just because we have this history bearing down upon my apprehension of this cat on the sofa as I apperceive it, there is in this the actuality of the "cat thing" which is that which is be interpreted. And when we attempt to "say" what the cat IS, we find the only predicative possibilities issuing from this past of assimilated knowledge, but: these are not that thing. And we know this, but we cannot SAY this (And again, this is Wittgenstein's Tractatus claim).

    One has to pull back for a moment and consider this, for we are in Kierkegaard's territory. Time dominates interpretation, NOT concrete existence. This latter is transcendental. or, as K puts it, eternal.

    If you see this bit of reasoning with some understanding, then you understand a major part of existential philosophy. And I would add, Eastern philosophy as well. This "concrete" reality that is timeless, eternal, is what Meister Eckhart would call God without God. It is what Buddhism and Hinduism is all about.

    Strong claims, these, but they are readily defensible.
  • Constance
    269
    At least you made the effort of making those questions. There are people than don't even care about what's going on around us and I think is even scary to be honest...
    Trying to answer this philosophical questions in my own personal view I would say: I live in Spain but furthermore in a planet called "Earth" that is a big galaxy where thanks to randomness we the humans developed.
    I don't know who I am but I know sometimes I dont like myself.
    We came here because is our path and we have to do it. It is impossible just staying in home and do not do it nothig.
    What the world means is upon us. First, as you perfectly said, time is one of the most tough enemies of humans, something that the Earth doesn't have. So we can start saying humans always put a lot of meaningful stuff.
    javi2541997

    Quite right that the earth does not have this. We impose time ON things when we encounter them, perceive them, talk about them, and so on. Does this mean what Einstein was talking about was really not space and time independent of perception? Absolutely.
    But then, space and time as such are entirely uninteresting. It is what occurs in these, and this goes to our existence, not the world's. Empirical science is out the window: we make the rational categories that make science possible. We provide the caring that motivates research, and when the stars' composition is revealed through the categories we generate, the importance of this all lies within the observer, the researcher.
    One has see this matter through the eyes of phenomenology. Are there "big galaxies" out there independent of the way we take up the world rationally, affectively? No. Standards of "truth" acquire a new criterion: meaning. Once meaning is at the top of the world-describing hierarchy, everything changes. Now it is not a physical universe at all that tells us truth at the basic level. It is the sorrows and joys of our existence. Empirical science Must be dethroned, and phenomenology does just this.

    The passage I provide is from Kierkegaard's Repetition. If you find it compelling, we can talk.
  • Possibility
    2k
    I read through the Amazon free pages of Rovelli, and it's not like I disagree with all he says at all, but tell me briefly what it is that he says that you find compelling. Container structure of values? Eternalism?Constance

    The fact that we cannot arrange the universe like a single orderly sequence of times does not mean that nothing changes. it means that changes are not arranged in a single orderly succession: the temporal structure of the world is more complex than a simple single linear succession of instants. This does not mean that it is non-existent or illusory.
    The distinction between past, present and future is not an illusion. It is the temporal structure of the world. But the temporal structure of the world is not that of presentism. The temporal relations between events are more complex than we previously thought, but they do not cease to exist on account of this. The relations of filiation do not establish a global order, but this does not make them illusory. If we are not all in single file, it does no follow that there are no relations between us. Change, what happens - this is not an illusion. What we have discovered is that it does not follow a global order...

    Nature, for its part, is what it is - and we discover it gradually. If our grammar and our intuition do not readily adapt to what we discover, well, too bad: we must seek to adapt them.
    The grammar of many modern languages conjugates verbs in the ‘present’, ‘past’ and ‘future’ tenses. it is not well adapted for speaking about the real temporal structure of reality, which is more complex. Grammar developed from our limited experience, before we became aware of its imprecision when it came to grasping the rich structure of the world.
    What confuses us when we seek to make sense of the discovery that no objective universal present exists is only the fact that our grammar is organised around an absolute distinction - ‘past/present/future’ - that is only partially apt, here in our immediate vicinity. The structure of reality is not the one that this grammar presupposes. We say that an event ‘is’, or ‘has been’, or ‘will be’. We do not have a grammar adapted to say that an event ‘has been’ in relation to me but ‘is’ in relation to you...

    We are struggling to adapt our language and our intuition to anew discovery: the fact that ‘past’ and ‘future’ do not have a universal meaning. Instead, they have a meaning which changes between here and there. That’s all there is to it.
    In the world, there is change, there is a temporal structure of relations between events that is anything but illusory. It is not a global happening. It is a local and complex one which is not amenable to being described in terms of a single global order.
    — Carlo Rovelli, ‘The Order of Time’
  • javi2541997
    595
    Does this mean what Einstein was talking about was really not space and time independent of perception? Absolutely.Constance

    Agreed :100:
  • RogueAI
    479
    Suppose you had a God's-eye view of the mental states of two people. One stationary and the other in an accelerating space ship. How would the two mental states change as the person accelerating gets closer to the speed of light? To an outside observer, would the mental state of the person accelerating start to slow down?
  • Joshs
    1.2k
    By thinking about the past, but the thinking is done in the present. How does apprehend the future? By thinking about the future, which is done in the present. Is there REALLY a past or future AT ALL? No.Constance

    For Husserl and Heidegger the present is a fulfillment of a past which comes out of the future, so it is the present that is inessential rather than past and future, and eternity becomes incoherent.
  • counterpunch
    1k
    Religion occurs in an evolutionary context - and may well be pointing at something real; albeit in a culturally idiosyncratic manner. I don't know if God exists or not, but to my mind, God is in the future, and we grow to meet Him.

    In evolutionary terms, all peoples adopted an objective authority as a basis for social law, and even if Creator worship is necessarily backward looking, creating an objective authority is a fundamentally correct relationship to reality. The tragedy is that, upon discovery of the method to systematically establish generalisable laws that govern Creation, we did not recognise that as the echoing word of God, and forge a sacred moral relationship with objective truth - such that, knowing what's true and doing what's right; applying technology in accord with rational and moral reason, we'd have made a paradise of the world, and it would have been proof of God's blessings.

    We didn't do that; we branded science a heresy, and used it without regard to the understanding of reality it describes, and so failed to harness the rationalising influence and functional truth value inherent to a scientific understanding of reality to the benefit of human affairs. We developed and applied technologies with regard to motives supplied by pre-scientific - overlapping religious, political and economic justifications of authority; understandably perhaps, but consequently, here we are now, looking toward a disastrous future unto extinction, unless we adapt.

    We are far from the ideal; and so should not be idealistic. We have to get there from here, and it is possible - given the virtually limitless energy of the earth's molten interior. Philosophically, we would be jumping the tracks - I accept that; but it has happened before, when hunter gatherers joined together to form multi-tribal societies, unto civilisations, they transcended themselves - as we must do now. They adopted God as an objective authority to make multi-tribal civilisation possible; as we must now adopt science if but in this regard alone; that acting accordingly, we claim the energy to overcome the climate and ecological crisis, and that I think would put us on the path to the path to God.
  • 180 Proof
    3.1k
    "Every kairos is a chronos, but not every chronos is a kairos." ~Hippocrates



    Life can only be understood backwards, but it must be lived forwards. — S.K.
    If we take eternity to mean not infinite temporal duration but timelessness, then eternal life belongs to those who live in the present. — L.W.
    Real generosity towards the future lies in giving all to the present. — A.C.
    Kairos (καιρός) time rather than chronological time or la durée:
    What kind of ancestor (i.e. past self of future selves) will you be? In what ways today are you striving to be a 'less harmful' past self to your future self/selves (i.e. future peoples)? which invokes the Great Law of the Iroquois 'seven generations' thinking...180 Proof
  • Constance
    269
    For Husserl and Heidegger the present is a fulfillment of a past which comes out of the future, so it is the present that is inessential rather than past and future, and eternity becomes incoherent.Joshs
    This is the piece of reasoning I am struggling with:
    I see it as an argument from actuality. How can Husserlian "adumbrations" of past experience make any claim on the present actual experience if all there is to verify is cognizance in the present? I am aware of the argument: every thoughtful experience one can possibly have cannot be free of the historical constitution that delivers it. As Foucault asked: Am I not being ventriloquized by history when I speak and listen and understand and the rest?
    But this annihilation of the present is an illusion, just as thinking my cat is a cat just by the calling it so. Not that it is not a cat in the everydayness of things, but to say that language and actuality are joined at the hip, bound together in meaning making as Heidegger does, leads to an incompleteness, an omission, in ontology, which is the giveness of things. I may be given the world through language and logic, but this certainly does not preclude the intuition of the giveness in the present. Of course, intuition is out of fashion because it is considered reducible to its interpretative parts, its "regional" deferential associations (Both Heidegger and Husserl use this term, I recall), but I beg to differ. The present giveness exceeds the interpretative possibilities that would attempt to own it.
    There is Levinas and others in this thinking. But Kierkegaard rules here in that the past and the future are subsumed by the present's actuality, as the latter pervades both; both are IN the present. Call it a terminal "existential "trace" (though I have a way to go to really understand Derrida. Frankly, other as well).
  • Joshs
    1.2k
    In Husserl’s early work his analysis of the primal impression , the experience of the ‘now’ , appeared to position it as a dull presence to self , apart from the retentional and protentional phase of time consciousness.

    But Gallagher writes :“Some of Husserl’s later texts on time-consciousness, especially the Bernau Manuscripts, which were written around 1917–1918, introduce a reframing of the original tripartite account. In this later account, primal impression, rather than being portrayed as an experiential origin, “the primal source of all further consciousness and being” (Husserl 1966a: 67), is considered the result of an interplay between retention and protention. Thus, in the Bernau
    Manuscripts, Husserl defines primal impression as “the boundary between […] the retentions and protentions” (Husserl 2001). Whereas retentions and protentions in the early lectures were defined as retaining the primal impression, or projecting a new primal impression, respectively, in Husserl’s later research manuscripts, the primal impression is considered the line of intersection between retentional and protentional tendencies that make up every present phase of consciousness. Even in his earlier account Husserl had claimed that primal presentation is not self-sufficient, rather it operates only in connection with retentions and protentions.

    In the Bernau Manuscripts, however, Husserl seems to suggest that the complicated interlacing of retentions and protentions is constitutive of primal impression. Not only is primal impression not self-sufficient, it is a constituted product rather than something that makes a constitutive contribution of its own. This more radical claim is expressed in Husserl’s idea that the initial
    event of experience is the empty anticipation.

    “ First there is an empty expectation, and then there is the point of the primary perception, itself an intentional experience. But the primary presentation [or impression] comes to be in the flow only by occurring as the fulfillment of contents relative to the preceding empty intentions, thereby changing itself into primal presenting perception.” (Husserl 2001: 4; translated in
    Gallagher & Zahavi 2014) . The primal impression comes on the scene as the fulfilment of an empty protention; the now, as the present phase of consciousness, is constituted by way of a protentional fulfilment (Husserl 2001: 4, 14).

    “ Each constituting full phase is the retention of a fulfilled protention, which is the horizonal boundary of an unfulfilled and for its part continuously mediated protention.” (Husserl 2001: 8)

    Rudolf Bernet writes:

    “In his genetic time-analysis Husserl no longer takes it for granted that the intentionality at work in time-consciousness is an egoic act- intentionality with an objective correlate, like a typical static examination of the correlation would have it. Though such act-intentionality plays an important role in time-consciousness and in its constitutive function, Husserl is now more interested in its arising from pre-intentional tendencies, inclinations, and inhibitions, which characterize the intentionality of a passively flowing originary process. Furthermore, this process, as a life-process, is not simply an automatic process; it has a goal and the tendency to draw near to this goal. This determination of the originary process of life as striving toward intuitive givenness forces Husserl, as already mentioned, to a new, dynamic reformulation of the process of temporal fulfillment.

    The passively experienced, hyletic originary process stands therefore at the source of the egoic acts of turning-towards, perceiving and grasping. However, it is not only the subject of the egoic performance that is born from this originary stream, but also each present givenness. In fact, the consciousness of the being-present of a givenness arises, as was indicated above, from the interplay between the retentional and protentional intentionality of the passively experienced
    originary stream. With this new insight, the privilege of the present as the most originary dimension of time-consciousness could not remain unquestioned by a genetic phenomenology. If each present has a genesis of its emergence, and thus is a present having-come-to-be, then one understands even better why Husserl engages in such a detailed way with the question of whether
    there can be something like a first primary presentation. “

    Rudolf Bernet
  • Constance
    269
    What confuses us when we seek to make sense of the discovery that no objective universal present exists is only the fact that our grammar is organised around an absolute distinction - ‘past/present/future’ - that is only partially apt, here in our immediate vicinity. The structure of reality is not the one that this grammar presupposes. We say that an event ‘is’, or ‘has been’, or ‘will be’. We do not have a grammar adapted to say that an event ‘has been’ in relation to me but ‘is’ in relation to you...

    We are struggling to adapt our language and our intuition to anew discovery: the fact that ‘past’ and ‘future’ do not have a universal meaning. Instead, they have a meaning which changes between here and there. That’s all there is to it.
    In the world, there is change, there is a temporal structure of relations between events that is anything but illusory. It is not a global happening. It is a local and complex one which is not amenable to being described in terms of a single global order.
    — Carlo Rovelli, ‘The Order of Time’

    Since Rovelli is an empirical scientist, it is safe to assume that the indeterminacy of time has to do with relativity. I gather this also from the way he talks about "meaning which changes between here and there" and the lack of a "single global order" in temporal events. Am I right about this?
  • Possibility
    2k
    Since Rovelli is an empirical scientist, it is safe to assume that the indeterminacy of time has to do with relativity. I gather this also from the way he talks about "meaning which changes between here and there" and the lack of a "single global order" in temporal events. Am I right about this?Constance

    Actually, he’s a theoretical physicist, working in Quantum Field Theory.
  • Constance
    269
    In the Bernau Manuscripts, however, Husserl seems to suggest that the complicated interlacing
    of retentions and protentions is constitutive of primal impression. Not only is primal impression
    not self-sufficient, it is a constituted product rather than something that makes a constitutive
    contribution of its own. This more radical claim is expressed in Husserl’s idea that the initial
    event of experience is the empty anticipation.
    Joshs

    Let me take a metaethical position: the interlacing retentions and protentions constituting the primal impression? Is this spear in my kidney constituted? It is as a "fact" constituted, and my talk about it, my informed awareness, but the ethical/aesthetic dimension of it, the searing pain that issues forth, registers unmediated. Experience is permeated by value, but what intrigues me is the metavalue of value, that elusive "Good" or "Bad" that attends value, making the presence of pain exceed the factual.

    In short, for me, if all there were in the world were facts and the logic that rules them, then I suppose this discussion on Husserl you provide would be adequate, and presence would be reducible to some featureless qualia, the features of which bound to the interpretative contexts of before's and after's (minus the jargon of the philosophy) imposed on them, rendering presence, as Dennett put it, a nonsense term. But there is nothing that has ever crossed our perceptual path that is anything like this. There is no "redness" as such; this is just an abstraction from the fullness of experience, which is always in or of value. Anticipations are inherently "caring" anticipations. And this points directly to value, and puts the fate of the discussion of presence and existence in the hands of a metaethical, metaaesthetic analysis. I.e., what is value? What is the ethical/aesthetic good and bad?

    And this presents a new discussion on contingent goods and bads vis a vis absolute goods and bads, and the sense that can be made of this.

    So I am saying matter of presence rests with the matter of metavalue.
  • Constance
    269
    To my mind, religion occurs in an evolutionary context - and may well be pointing at something real; albeit in culturally idiosyncratic manner. I don't know if God exists or not, but to my mind, God is in the future, and we grow to meet Him.counterpunch

    religion? How is this about religion?
  • Constance
    269
    Actually, he’s a theoretical physicist, working in Quantum Field Theory.Possibility

    I haven't read the entire book, but I have read "through" it and about it, and it is clear to me that he is an iconoclast to the scientific community, but what is striking is that he brings in Heidegger and Husserl, so he might be worth looking into. I say this because Husserl was famous for keeping science at bay in philosophical discussions, for science does not ask basic questions or go into the presuppositions of empirical research. It doesn't ask, what is a concept? How can we describe the experience that delivers the world to us? How is what we have before us as objects in the world actually constituted as "what we have before us"? An object is given in time, so what is the temporal structure of giveness?

    Questions like these are ignored by science, which is why I don't go to the scientist for philosophical insight. They don't deal in basic questions, foundational questions. They often think they do, but they don't.
  • counterpunch
    1k
    religion? How is this about religion?Constance

    How is this about religion?

    This is clearly to be seen in the Greek, the Jewish, and the Christian views. The concept on which everything turns in Christianity, that which made all things new,* is the fullness of time,† but the fullness of time is the instant as the eternal, and yet this eternal is also the future and the past. If one doesn’t watch out for this, not a single concept can be saved from a heretical and treasonable admixture that annihilates the concept.Constance

    It's about the temporal orientation of civilisation; backward looking. Unsaid, is that we retreat, bowed from the presence of the Creator at the beginning of time, and so enter into the future blindly, and arse first!

    In reality, we are not devolving from perfection in the past. We are evolving from animal ignorance into human knowledge over time. Hence, God is in the future - we grow to meet Him.
  • Constance
    269
    To my mind, religion occurs in an evolutionary context - and may well be pointing at something real; albeit in culturally idiosyncratic manner. I don't know if God exists or not, but to my mind, God is in the future, and we grow to meet Him.counterpunch

    No wait. I do see that the passage mentions Christianity and sin. I almost forgot. But these should be considered as merely incidental. The focus is time. It is an apriori analysis of time, its past, present and future structure. Kierkegaard is not just "a religious writer" as Heidegger called him, and I am certain K made significant contributions to his thinking, as with this analysis I provide in bold print.
    This eternal present encompasses past and future, says K. After all, when you are recalling or anticipating, is always IN the present, so how can an ontology of time e consider past or future without
    the present. Of course, the present is elusive, hence the discussion.
  • Constance
    269
    It's about the temporal orientation of civilisation; backward looking. Unsaid, is that we retreat, bowed from the presence of the Creator at the beginning of time, and so enter into the future blindly, and arse first!

    In reality, we are not devolving from perfection in the past. We grow from animal ignorance into human knowledge over time. Hence, God is in the future - we grow to meet Him.
    counterpunch

    Quite right. I responded even before I read this.
  • Constance
    269
    No, we were born to pay bills, and die.baker

    No, we were born to pay bills ("the bill" we pay to be here, our work, our very weird biological embeddedness and all the thousand natural shocks the flesh is heir to), scream bloody hell to the sky, then die.
  • counterpunch
    1k
    No wait. I do see that the passage mentions Christianity and sin. I almost forgot. But these should be considered as merely incidental. The focus is time. It is an apriori analysis of time, its past, present and future structure. Kierkegaard is not just "a religious writer" as Heidegger called him, and I am certain K made significant contributions to his thinking, as with this analysis I provide in bold print. This eternal present encompasses past and future, says K. After all, when you are recalling or anticipating, is always IN the present, so how can an ontology of time e consider past or future without the present. Of course, the present is elusive, hence the discussion.Constance

    Could you not just take turns Constance? Only child were you? My goodness me!

    I don't think the emphasis in this passage is on how time works, but rather how time must be perceived for the purposes of the religious civilisation of Kierkegaard's era. He imagines a more rational, scientific concept of time:

    If the instant is posited but merely as a discrimen [division], then the future is the eternal.Constance

    ...he imagines will be devastating to the values of civilisation.

    If one doesn’t watch out for this, not a single concept can be saved from a heretical and treasonable admixture that annihilates the concept.Constance

    It's Nietzsche for beginners. But it's mistaken. Human beings are imbued with a moral sense by evolution, and in fact - religious values are expressions of that innate moral sense; adopted when hunter gatherer tribes joined together - to forge a social group under a common belief system.

    Consequently, I would argue, civilisation is in no danger from realism. In some large part, the values of civilisation are from us, and unto us. That so, by knowing what's true and doing what's right in terms of what's true, rationally, we can turn and face reality and take it on and win. Our moral and rational sense are sufficient - insofar as they are manifested in civilisation. We did that. Imagine how much more we could do if we were confident enough in our decency and genius to be forward facing in our approach.
  • Constance
    269
    Life can only be understood backwards, but it must be lived forwards — S.K.

    This is from Repetition. Living forwards, in its perfection, is to be a knight of faith, something K confessed he could not do. It would be to live in the eternal present AS one recalls in daily affairs. Quite an idea, eh?

    Kairos (καιρός) time rather than chronological time or la durée:
    What kind of ancestor (i.e. past self of future selves) will you be? In what ways today are you striving to be a 'less harmful' past self to your future self/selves (i.e. future peoples)? which invokes the Great Law of the Iroquois 'seven generations' thinking...
    180 Proof

    K puts the matter in the hands of the soul's or God's prevailing over the moment, living IN grace, and he shows hw this works in the structure of time. But anyway, The Great Law of the Iroquois? This sounds like it has to do with consequentialist thinking. A knight of faith does observe ethical obligation as the driving force of our true self. One is to be above this, and goods acts issue from God's grace. It is not a propositional affair at all. It is a mode of existence, you might say.
  • TaySan
    187
    what if we see time as a spectrum with the present in the middle? And we connect the ends of the spectrum to form a circle. See, eternity.

    And God still remains a mystery :P
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