• Bitter Crank
    7.8k
    Eternity is infinity -- no place, no time. Forever.

    There are too many answers.Number2018

    Yes, people would mark out their political, or technical, or romantic or current cat present however they wish. The point is that "present" is a fleeting moment only in some descriptions. In other descriptions, the present may be years long.

    When someone says, "be in the present" they don't mean a 20 year present. They mean a few minutes, at least. Maybe 1/2 hour. Everyone who has read anything on this forum has lived in a fairly long techno-present time. Even if they are 85 years old, they have always lived with steady technical progress.

    If you think about being situated in the history of Western Civilization (or Chinese or Indian civilization) you are talking about a present that is 2500 years long. I haven't been around for 2500 years, and nobody else has either, but our cultures have been developing over that period of time. We are part of that development. Western Civilization didn't die along the way, only to be resuscitated later. It's been alive and growing all that time. Same for other cultures.
  • Terrapin Station
    9.6k
    On the one side, the statement “time today” may have a sole significance.Number2018

    Nothing has a "sole significance." Meaning is something that individuals do --it's an active, dynamic process executed by individuals, and it's done variously, by different people, at different times, in different contexts, etc.
  • Hanover
    4.6k
    Orthogonal vs. perspective, which is correct and why?Banno

    I'm not sure what you're arguing here, but it seems to be that reality is just a matter of perspective, perhaps denying an objective reality. You'll have to clarify that.

    In the context of our discussion, you rhetorically asked what there was we didn't know about time, suggesting that we all have this complete and intuitive grasp about time so that a conversation wasn't even worthy of being had. I'm not sure why time stands out as the instantly knowable and undefinable term, but that seemed to be your thesis. To the extent physicists attempt to better understand the meaning of time, is that a waste of time, considering they are studying what they already fully know?
  • Mattiesse
    20
    Many may find this odd, but I see time as an illusion. Yes we can measure it and use it to know when a planned event is about to happen, but dispite all this logic...there seems to be something amiss? Now when people say past, present and future, I think of this amazing quote.
    Yesterday is history, tomorrow is a mystery, but today is a gift. That’s why we call it the present.
  • Devans99
    1.9k


    Staring with the relativistic energy-momentum equation:

    KE = mc² ∕ √ (1 - v² ∕ c²)
    So
    m = KE × √ (1 - v² ∕ c²) / c²

    So time (in the v term) determines mass. So something in the universe must be aware of time else it could not assign a mass. So time seems to be more than just an illusion?
  • Hanover
    4.6k
    I think of this amazing quote.
    Yesterday is history, tomorrow is a mystery, but today is a gift. That’s why we call it the present.
    Mattiesse

    I think this is an amazing quote: Today is a gift and yesterday is past. That's why we call it a past present.

    I got another one. Time has passed since yesterday and could not have been better, and all the tensions and stresses of yesterday have been left behind in those past days. It's for that reason that we call it the passed past perfect tense.

    So time (in the v term) determines mass.Devans99

    This makes sense in light of my quotes above. The past particles are always used when speaking of the perfect past.

    Nothing like grammatical humor.
  • Mattiesse
    20
    I just can’t seem to grasp the concept. Not saying I’m stupid because of it, I like your equation Devans99. I don’t fully understand it but maths has always seem elegant (though I’m terrible at it )
  • Devans99
    1.9k
    I'm not sure if time exists or not. I suspect it does. Some other arguments that it exists are given here:

    https://thephilosophyforum.com/discussion/comment/244990
  • Number2018
    247
    Meaning is something that individuals do --it's an active, dynamic process executed by individuals, and it's done variously, by different people, at different times, in different contexts, etc.Terrapin Station
    I agree with you. I tried to make a point that “my present time” or “your present time,” in spite of being singular and individual, have regularly been objectified, transformed and reduced from “this present time” to “that present time.”
  • Number2018
    247
    The point is that "present" is a fleeting moment only in some descriptions. In other descriptions, the present may be years long.

    When someone says, "be in the present" they don't mean a 20 year present. They mean a few minutes, at least. Maybe 1/2 hour. Everyone who has read anything on this forum has lived in a fairly long techno-present time. Even if they are 85 years old, they have always lived with steady technical progress.
    Bitter Crank
    I agree with you. There are so many different “present times,” at which we
    live our lives. Probably, one could live simultaneously (consciously or not) at a few different “presents” of various time intervals. Your example of techno-present
    time – who or what in control of it? Am I consumed entirely while being “in the present” of a gigantic cyber-machinic environment?
  • Number2018
    247
    And, by doing so, subjectively, we reproduce our past and a cyclic model of time.
    — Number2018

    I don't see where the cyclical aspect comes from.
    Metaphysician Undercover
    The perfect example of the cyclic model of time is a religious life, organized by following the same festivals and rituals throughout each year. When the year is over, the cyclical repertoire will be repeated again. Let assume that one is an atheist, reproducing the same habitual, speaking, working, and thinking patterns from the past. One is afraid of an unpredictable future and organizes the routine of life by what has been already proven as a safe and reliable reiteration. One does not follow an external religious cyclic calendar but nevertheless reactivates the circular rhythms over and over again.
    There are non-linear contemporary philosophies of time
    — Number2018

    Yes, cyclical perhaps, but I don't see how that would be grounded. Any others?
    Metaphysician Undercover
    Lyotard proposed a few comprehensions of time. First is the “psychoanalytical” model, based on the exceptional, founding event in the past. Another one uses a narrative and discursive approach. Lastly, he proposed a techno-monadological model. Also, Deleuse developed the different philosophy of time in his book “Difference and Repetition.”
  • Banno
    5.3k
    I'm not sure what you're arguing here, but it seems to be that reality is just a matter of perspective, perhaps denying an objective reality. You'll have to clarify that.Hanover

    Not at all. It is a simple matter to move from orthogonal to perspective; two drawings of the same thing. Similarly it's simple to move from the present to the eternal.

    In the context of this discussion, I'm asking that the question be set out more clearly - literally, what is it about time that is not understood; Perhaps we know everything about time, perhaps not.

    But we should take some time to be sure what it is we are asking. Otherwise, the answer will always be 42.
  • aletheist
    984
    Otherwise, the answer will always be 42.Banno
    When is the answer ever not 42?
  • Bitter Crank
    7.8k
    Am I consumed entirely while being “in the present” of a gigantic cyber-machinic environment?Number2018

    No, of course you are not being consumed by a gigantic cyber-mechanical monster.

    You are merely a meaningless cog in the remorseless extraction of profit by capitalists. Cogs, however, are needed to make the gears work -- so you have a bright future before you. (My cog years are behind me; I'm just waiting to be recycled--the final extraction of surplus value).
  • Metaphysician Undercover
    5.7k
    The perfect example of the cyclic model of time is a religious life, organized by following the same festivals and rituals throughout each year.Number2018

    That's not time which is being cyclical, it's the actions of people which is cyclical in that description. That some people are repetitive in their activities doesn't mean that time itself is cyclical.
  • Number2018
    247
    You are merely a meaningless cog in the remorseless extraction of profit by capitalists. Cogs, however, are needed to make the gears work -- so you have a bright future before you. (My cog years are behind me; I'm just waiting to be recycled--the final extraction of surplus value).Bitter Crank

    Does it mean that while being on this forum, and so living "in the cyber-technological present" I just
    bring profit to the capitalistic system?
  • Number2018
    247
    That's not time which is being cyclical, it's the actions of people which is cyclical in that description. That some people are repetitive in their activities doesn't mean that time itself is cyclical.Metaphysician Undercover
    So, what is your understanding of “time itself”? Do you believe that there has been the real, true time so that different models and theories can no more than approach it, represent it or distort it?
  • Metaphysician Undercover
    5.7k
    So, what is your understanding of “time itself”?Number2018

    What we refer to as "time", and what is measured as time, is the process by which what is in the future becomes what is in the past.

    So, what is your understanding of “time itself”? Do you believe that there has been the real, true time so that different models and theories can no more than approach it, represent it or distort it?Number2018

    I don't think we presently employ any models of time which recognize that there is a substantial difference between past and future. All models that are used imply a continuity through the present, but the substantial difference between past and future, which is evident to us, invalidates this continuity.
  • Number2018
    247
    "what is time? Who can easily and briefly explain it? Who even in thought can comprehend it, even to the pronouncing of a word concerning it? But what in speaking do we refer to more familiarly and knowingly than time? And certainly we understand when we speak of it; we understand also when we hear it spoken of by another. What, then, is time? If no one asks of me, I know; if I wish to explain to him who asks, I know not. Yet I say with confidence, that I know that if nothing passed away, there would not be past time; and if nothing were coming, there would not be future time; and if nothing were, there would not be present time. Those two times, therefore, past and future, how are they, when even the past now is not; and the future is not as yet? But should the present be always present, and should it not pass into time past, time truly it could not be, but eternity. If, then, time present -- if it be time -- only comes into existence because it passes into time past, how do we say that even this is, whose cause of being is that it shall not be -- namely, so that we cannot truly say that time is, unless because it tends not to be?"
    St. Augustine has laid out brilliantly that there has not been such a thing as “the substantial time”: our only experience is in the present time. Therefore, if the past and the future exist in the physical way that the present does, we have no way of knowing it, because we only experience the present. And yet, if the past and future don't exist, then what exactly are we measuring when we measure time? Remarkably, St. Augustine has not resorted to any theological argumentations, though he intended to show
    that time entirely belongs to the faculties of the soul. And, if so, one is not able to explain time without theology. How could one refute St. Augustine’s arguments?
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