## Time and Boundaries

Next
• 621

I would caution against any model where time "flows."

Can you elaborate? Can you give me a link to an article that elaborates?
• 768

If time is flowing, that is moving relative to different states of the universe, then it must be doing so over some sort of second time dimension. Some philosophers have accepted this and posited an infinite regress of time dimensions, but it seems unappealing to most.

Second, under special relativity, the order in which events occur can be different for different observers. This makes it unclear as to how any time flow could occur.
• 1.6k
Gravity and acceleration-due-to-gravity are, in a certain sense, as one. They are conjoined as a unified concept: gravity-and-acceleration. Thus cause and effect are, in the same sense, as one, save one stipulation: temporal sequencing.
I see one inconsistency and one redundancy in this argumentation:
First, there's a circularity: You take two different things, a cause and an effect, and assume that they are one thing --in a sense, or whatever. Then you conclude that cause and effect are the same, well, also in a sense.
Then you introduce the element of timing ("temporal sequencing") that refutes the above statement and which doesn't actually change anything; it's only another reason why the first statement is invalid, since cause precedes effect. Which can be also considered as a tautology.

Is it maybe the argumentation --as a whole-- not properly worded or constructed?
• 621

If time is flowing, that is moving relative to different states of the universe, then it must be doing so over some sort of second time dimension.

Does your statement above describe a situation containing two temporal progressions: a) different states of the universe; the differentials separating the states of the universe being one set of a type of time; b) time moving relative to the first set of time being the second set of a type of time?

Second, under special relativity, the order in which events occur can be different for different observers. This makes it unclear as to how any time flow could occur.

At the risk of being convoluted and opaque, "order in which events occur can be different for different observers" exemplifies time eliding even itself: that the ordering of events into a timeline is relative to the inertial frame of reference of the observer and thus there is no universal time: time penetrates its ordering of events in one locality with a different ordering of the same events in another locality.

Time is essential to location in that the structure of a location is not a separate thing apart from material things populating said location; a location is itself a material thing: spacetime. Spacetime is entangled with the material objects that seem to populate it. Entanglement ⇒ time_gravitation.

Now we come to a big question: the boundaries of consciousness: How do time and gravitation negotiate the boundaries of consciousness? Lying center to this question is how do time and gravitation negotiate recursion? Suffice it to say the result of this negotiation is the axiom.

If you propagate an infinite number of successive executions of a computational function you get as a resultant a mathematical axiom.

Time plays an essential role in negotiating recursion en route to axiomatic truth. Expressed in phenomenal terms, this is time penetrating the boundaries of consciousness.*

Aristotle's agent-intellect is propagated by recursion negotiated by time to time-approaching-time-zero. This is also dimensional expansion, viz., propagation of existence instantiated in material objects.

*What are the boundaries of consciousness? One of the boundaries of consciousness is infinite computational recursion en route to time negotiating time-approaching-time-zero. This is echo feedback looping in route to consciousness.
• 621
Gravity and acceleration-due-to-gravity are, in a certain sense, as one. They are conjoined as a unified concept: gravity-and-acceleration. Thus cause and effect are, in the same sense, as one, save one stipulation: temporal sequencing.

I see one inconsistency and one redundancy in this argumentation:
First, there's a circularity: You take two different things, a cause and an effect, and assume that they are one thing --in a sense, or whatever. Then you conclude that cause and effect are the same, well, also in a sense.
Then you introduce the element of timing ("temporal sequencing") that refutes the above statement and which doesn't actually change anything; it's only another reason why the first statement is invalid, since cause precedes effect. Which can be also considered as a tautology.

Is it maybe the argumentation --as a whole-- not properly worded or constructed?

Your analysis is correct. What I'm trying to do has to be processed through the channel of truth. Think of a plumb line and how it's used to keep a building vertical all the way to its apex. If the plumb line holds to the datum at the base of the structure, we say it's true.

In our phenomenal world of everyday experience, we couldn't well navigate constant potential sensory overload if our pattern recognition of cause-and-effect didn't phrase-up to a unified concept wherein the plumb line from a to b holds true.

A and b holding true to each other is a tautology, except that we have the complication that a and b don't look like each other. That's the mysterious time element. Dispelling the seeming difference of a and b is, however, the adventure of life. We make our journeys in search of truth and, if successful, we confirm that a is really b and vice versa. The seeming endless variety of creation boils down to the ohmm of oneness the ascended spiritualists keep exposing to us.

Time, therefore, elides the multi-forms of creation into a universal oneness of blissful wholeness.

The fall from grace is the smashing up of wholeness into pieces; humans, however, cannot be happy without the adventure of reconstruction

Time, beyond water, holds top rank as the universal solvent: with enough time, drops of water pound coal into diamond.
• 2.8k
Time, therefore, elides the multi-forms of creation into a universal oneness of blissful wholeness.

• 1.2k
Does your statement above describe a situation containing two temporal progressions
We need to define time in order to avoid confusion. Aristotle's defines time as "the measure of change according to before and after." If we accept this definition, then time is not a thing, but a measure number specified by both the change measured (say, the number of cycles of some process) and the details of the measuring process. We see this in special relativity, where time measure numbers depend on the frame of reference used in measuring change.

Given this definition, it is difficult to see how there could be more than one time dimension. Possibly a physical state could change along one time-like axis and while no change would be perceptible along another. So, we would have a universe in which different, independent, kinds of change occurred -- a continuous sequence of universes orthogonal to the base universe and its "normal" time.

Such a second time dimension might have its own laws of motion and a reason that we could not experience it. But, if we could not experience it, it would not be parsimonious to propose it.

Of course, you could change the definition of time, but then you would need to ensure that it agreed with our normal time when the new definition reduced to that case.

Also, time does not flow, because it does not exist independently of being measured. What flows is the sequence of events that change produces, and that we use to produce a time measure number.
• 1.6k

Somewhat unconventional, but very interesting ideas! :up:
I enjoyed it. And it reminded me somehow of "The Tao of Physics" that I read about 50 years ago! :smile: And I loved it!
• 621
Time, therefore, elides the multi-forms of creation into a universal oneness of blissful wholeness.

In the olden days (my childhood), when we had milkmen and they delivered milk in glass bottles to our door, sometimes a bottle would lie burst on its side. Dad, looking at the bottle, would say, "Another loss from water turning into ice."

Did you not learn to navigate sequences of events in this manner?
• 621
time does not flow, because it does not exist independently of being measured. What flows is the sequence of events that change produces, and that we use to produce a time measure number.

Somebody -- Was it Aristotle? -- talked about the essential importance of metaphor in the exercise of human intelligence.

I, being lazy, use "time" to signify: What flows is the sequence of events that change produces....

Getting fancy, let me add that,

syn·ec·do·che | səˈnekdəkē |
noun
a figure of speech in which a part is made to represent the whole or vice versa, as in Cleveland won by six runs (meaning “Cleveland's baseball team”).
• 1.2k
I, being lazy, use "time" to signify: What flows is the sequence of events that change produces....
I have no problem with figures of speech that are recognized to such.
• 11.1k
Aristotle's defines time as "the measure of change according to before and after."

He also says, that in another sense "time" is what is measured.

Of course, you could change the definition of time, but then you would need to ensure that it agreed with our normal time when the new definition reduced to that case.

"Time" as that which is measured, is completely different from "time" as "the measure of...". One's the territory, the other the map, so to speak. But, they both agree with a "normal time", to some extent. Notice though, that the definition you provided is qualified with "according to before and after". This means that we must refer to an apprehended "before and after" to be able to employ time as a measure of change. And this is where the problem which points to, lies.

Since this is a very real problem, we ought to start with the other definition, that time is what is measured. Then we can say that "before" and "after" are products of the measurement of time, and the inconsistency in before and after which ucarr points to, is attributable to the way that time is measured, distinguishing between the measure, and what is measured. And, we can say deficiencies in the way that time is measured creates the appearance of inconsistency in before and after.

That time is what is measured is more consistent with our wider range of experience with the concept of "time" anyway. For example, when someone says what time it is. And when we see the problems of measurement exposed by the relativity of simultaneity, we can start to apprehend the need for more than one dimension of time, in order to give us precise measurement.
• 1.2k
He also says, that in another sense "time" is what is measured.
Where?

"Time" as that which is measured, is completely different from "time" as "the measure of...". One's the territory, the other the map, so to speak.
In Aristotle's definition, the territory is the changing world. Time is a coordinate we place on its map.

This means that we must refer to an apprehended "before and after" to be able to employ time as a measure of change.
Yes. We do this in light of the echos physical events leave in our memory. We remember what happened before now, not what will happen after now. We also see that our willed commitments can affect the future, but not the past.

we ought to start with the other definition, that time is what is measured.
That is not a definition because it is implicitly circular. The result of measurement is time. So, by your definition, time is both the source and result of measurement, which leaves us completely in the dark about what we are measuring. A's definition makes clear what we are measuring, viz. change, which he defines with no reference to time as "the actualization of a potency insofar as it is still in potency."

And, we can say deficiencies in the way that time is measured creates the appearance of inconsistency in before and after.
No, it does not. It allows us to eliminate misconceptions about spatially separate events. Some events are before or after a given event, no matter how we measure time. Others are not. If we fix upon a single place, the sequence of events is never in doubt.

That time is what is measured is more consistent with our wider range of experience with the concept of "time" anyway. For example, when someone says what time it is.
I look at a changing clock to see what the measure number is. If the clock does not change, I don't trust it to indicate the time.

And when we see the problems of measurement exposed by the relativity of simultaneity, we can start to apprehend the need for more than one dimension of time, in order to give us precise measurement.
You seem not to understand relativity. It is all about how we measure things. As a result, Aristotle's concept of time is compatible with it, while Newton's concept of absolute time (which seems to be yours) is incompatible with it.
• 11.1k
Where?

That would be "Physics" Bk 4, Ch 11-14.

In Aristotle's definition, the territory is the changing world. Time is a coordinate we place on its map.

I don't think you've read the section of the "Physics" which I refer to, if this is what you think.

219b: "Time then is a kind of number (Number, we must note, is used in two senses --- both of what is counted or the countable and also of that with which we count. Time obviously is what is counted not that with which we count: these are different kinds of thing.)"

That is not a definition because it is implicitly circular. The result of measurement is time. So, by your definition, time is both the source and result of measurement, which leaves us completely in the dark about what we are measuring. A's definition makes clear what we are measuring, viz. change, which he defines with no reference to time as "the actualization of a potency insofar as it is still in potency."

It only becomes circular if you allow "time" to have both definitions, which would be equivocation anyway. So your argument that it is circular is an argument based in equivocation. The explicit equivocation is that "time" refers to both the thing measured, and what is produced by the measurement. If we adhere to the one definition, that time is what is counted, then the thing produced by the measurement is not time, but theory relating to time.

As an analogy, let "quantity" refer to the thing counted, and "number" refer to the counting theory. When a quantity is counted, the counting theory is employed to produce a theory which represents the thing counted. "There is x number of C in the lot", would be an example of such a theory produced from counting. Whether or not the theory is sound is not relevant here.

It may be the case that Aristotle in some ways establishes an equivalence between time and change, but he does qualify this by saying that time is the number of "continuous change". He defines "change" in terms of coming to be and passing away, and further with "cause". "Cause" is analyzed even further and divided into potential and actual. In a number of ways he describes how causes precede the end, and he also argues how time is a necessary condition for change. Therefore change is defined with reference to time. This is why he proceeds in the "Physics" from "change" to motion and time.

No, it does not. It allows us to eliminate misconceptions about spatially separate events. Some events are before or after a given event, no matter how we measure time. Others are not. If we fix upon a single place, the sequence of events is never in doubt.

That sure looks like inconsistency to me. If one way of measuring time results in a reversal of before and after, in comparison with another, and time is defined with reference to before and after, then there is inconsistency within the way that time is measured.
• 1.2k
That would be "Physics" Bk 4, Ch 11-14.
The discussion of time begins in ch. 10. There he notes that "no part of it is" (218a6). So, we need to be aware that while it is convenient to speak of beings of reason (ens rationis) as though they exist simpliciter, they do not. Time, as a measure number, exists only in the minds contemplating it. So, you need to distinguish between what is a convenient way of speaking, and Aristotle's doctrine.

Then, in ch. 11, he says, "Time then is a kind of number. [Emphasis mine] Number, we must note, is used in two ways—both of what is counted or countable and also of that with which we count. Time, then, is what is counted, not that with which we count: these are different kinds of thing." (219b6-9) As a number, it is not something existing in nature, but a mental entity resulting from a numbering operation. We can only number something which can be numbered, ie. change, which he has already argued time depends upon. This is entirely compatible with the classic definition of time as the measure of change according to before and after.

There is no point in continuing to pile quotation on quotation. You are misinterpreting the text.

The explicit equivocation is that "time" refers to both the thing measured, and what is produced by the measurement.
There is no equivocation. What is measured is time potentially. The result is time actually.

That sure looks like inconsistency to me. If one way of measuring time results in a reversal of before and after, in comparison with another, and time is defined with reference to before and after, then there is inconsistency within the way that time is measured.
I suggest you read about simultaneity, and the difference between the time-like and space-like separation of events in special relativity. It would take too much of my time for me to explain to you.
• 11.1k
The discussion of time begins in ch. 10. There he notes that "no part of it is" (218a6). So, we need to be aware that while it is convenient to speak of beings of reason (ens rationis) as though they exist simpliciter, they do not. Time, as a measure number, exists only in the minds contemplating it. So, you need to distinguish between what is a convenient way of speaking, and Aristotle's doctrine.

I really think you need to reread that section, you might come to a better understanding. He clearly talks about time as being measured and he describes how time exists. This is what he says at 226b, 28:

"We have stated, then, that time exists and what it is, and in how many senses we speak of the 'now', and what 'at some time', 'lately', 'presently' or 'just', 'long ago', and 'suddenly' mean."

Notice that all these terms, all these ways of speaking, are grounded in time being something real. This is not a matter of "a convenient way of speaking". What is the case, is that there must be a real difference between the time referred to as "now", and the time referred to as "before now", and "after now", or else the distinction of before and after is incoherent. In other words, if time isn't something real, before and after make no sense.

As a number, it is not something existing in nature, but a mental entity resulting from a numbering operation.

Aristotle was a student, of Plato, and numbers were considered to be existent things, as well as the symbols we use to count things. That's why he says number is used in two ways, what is countable, and that with which we count. Time is what is countable, therefore the terrain, not the map.

This is entirely compatible with the classic definition of time as the measure of change according to before and after.

Sure, but don't you see that in order for "before and after" to have any meaning, there must be time which is something real in nature, to give these words significance. So consider that we use time to measure change according to before and after, as you say. We can't just assign "before" and "after" arbitrarily, these designations are grounded in empirical observations, and this is the manifestation of time in its real, natural occurrence. Before and after are not mere fabrications of the mind, these words refer to a real, observed order in the physical world. The glass fell off the table before it broke on the floor. If there was no real order here, it would make just as much sense to say that the glass broke before it fell.

There is no point in continuing to pile quotation on quotation. You are misinterpreting the text.

I agree there is no point in looking at quotes, or even discussing what Aristotle thought, what is important is what we believe, you and I, and what is the truth to this matter.

What is measured is time potentially. The result is time actually.

I don't get this at all , maybe you could explain. Doesn't time have to actually pass before it can be measured? How could one measure the potential passing of time? It seems to me like that would be a fictional measurement. Therefore I think you might want to reconsider this, as you seem to have it backward.

In our minds, in theory, we can work with all sorts of time intervals, and time durations, these mental constructions we might call "time potentially". Also, when we hand a name to a duration, like "day", "hour", "second", these are 'time potentially", because they do not refer to any actual, specific time period. But when we use a clock to measure time, the passing of time, this is actual time, as time is actually passing. The clock provides us with a measurement, "ten seconds" for example. But this is back to a mental construction. "Ten seconds" is potential time, unless we relate this to the actual passing of time in the world, for context, and say in qualification, "the ten seconds when...".
• 1.2k
"We have stated, then, that time exists and what it is, and in how many senses we speak of the 'now', and what 'at some time', 'lately', 'presently' or 'just', 'long ago', and 'suddenly' mean."
Yes, time exists, but as a measure number, a being of reason.

Notice that all these terms, all these ways of speaking, are grounded in time being something real.
No, they are grounded in the reality of change.

Aristotle was a student, of Plato, and numbers were considered to be existent things, as well as the symbols we use to count things.
Yes, Aristotle was a student of Plato. He went on to reject his theory that ideas and numbers are substantial.

Sure, but don't you see that in order for "before and after" to have any meaning, there must be time which is something real in nature
No, the potential and the actualized ground before and after.

I don't get this at all , maybe you could explain.
Change is measurable according to before and after, say in the movement of clock hands. The act of measuring this produces time as a measure number.

How could one measure the potential passing of time?
It is not the potential passing of time, but the passing of potential time, stages in the process of change, that is measured.

In our minds, in theory, we can work with all sorts of time intervals, and time durations, these mental constructions we might call "time potentially".
No, what is imaginary is not potential. Potencies are grounded in actual states of nature, not the mind.

I do not intend to continue explaining this to you.
• 11.1k
No, they are grounded in the reality of change.

That's not accurate, because they are grounded in before and after, which is a specific feature of change. Your definition was "according to before and after". So if time is a measure of change, it measures only this particular parameter, that which relates to "before and after".

But the problem is that these other terms such as "lately", "long ago", "suddenly", introduce another aspect of time, other than "before and after" and that is duration, temporal extension, the meantime between before and after . So temporal measurement requires not only a judgement of before and after, but also a method for measuring the time (duration) between these, the meantime.

No, the potential and the actualized ground before and after.

You have this backward, before and after are used to ground potential and actual. That this is the case can be seen from what you refer to as "actualization". Actualization is the concept which establishes a relationship between potential and actual. Without that concept there is no direct relation between those two, and no way of deriving "before and after". Therefore "before and after" are not derived from potential and actual, and are not grounded in potential and actual.

Instead, "actualization" is used as a concept to relate potential to actual, by establishing the temporal relation of "before and after" between potential and actual. So, that there is a relationship between potential and actual is established with "actualization", and that this relationship is the relationship of "before and after" is established by the nature of "actualization".

"Actualization" represents the meantime, the duration between before and after. In traditional Greek terms this is "coming-to-be", the time between being not-X, and being X, in the condition of change, the act of generation. Therefore the concepts of "potential and actual" are grounded in the empirically observed reality of "coming-to-be", which occurs in the temporal duration (extension) of the meantime between before and after.

Change is measurable according to before and after, say in the movement of clock hands. The act of measuring this produces time as a measure number.

Before and after set the boundaries of the parameter to be measured, which is the duration, or extension of time in between these two, the meantime. This is how we employ the "now" as Aristotle explained, we project it as a point in time, using it to establish boundaries to segregate a specific temporal duration. One instance of the projected "now" represents the before, the other represents the after, the duration between is measured.

It is necessary that "before" and "after" represent something empirically real, this grounds the projection of the now in real. And, in order that the temporal duration measured is applicable, the measured duration must also be something empirically real. Accordingly, the temporal duration measured, as the meantime between the two artificial boundaries created by the projection of the "now", is equally real and measurable and empirically verifiable, as is "before and after".

Potencies are grounded in actual states of nature, not the mind.

Yes, potencies are grounded in actual states of nature, but potencies are produced by the mind. What is described by us, is what we claim as "actual", and from this we derive through the application of principles, specific potencies which are attributable to that described actuality. So potencies are grounded in actual states, but the "actual states" are descriptions which we produce, and these are themselves grounded in empirical observation.

The important point is that we cannot directly describe the world in terms of potencies, because what is derived from the activity of sensing is actualities. So it is only actualities, forms, which are grounded in the world; "grounded" meaning supported by empirical observation. From an analysis of these forms, actualities, along with the application of specific principles derived from an understanding of change, we can describe potencies. But the key point to apprehend is that there are "principles" which lie between, and separate the descriptions as actualities, and the derivative potencies. So both actualities and potencies are "grounded", but actualities are grounded directly by empirical observation, while potencies are grounded by actualities, through the means of principles which relate potencies to actualities. As described above, in Aristotle this relationship is established with the concept of "actualization", which is derived from the ancient understanding of "coming-to-be".
Next
bold
italic
underline
strike
code
quote
ulist
image
url
mention
reveal