• Metaphysician Undercover
    7.4k
    It seems to me your "therefore" does not logically follow. The "substantial difference" requires a temporal distancing.jgill

    I believe a temporal distancing is required, to separate future from past. I think Peirce posits a vague now. But this separation between future and past is the prime reason why I believe we need a two dimensional time. We have one representation of time which presents us with a continuous time, past through future. If we posit an instantaneous point as the separation between one part of time and another part of time, future from past, we cannot account for the substantial difference between future and past. This substantial change, from future to past, requires a period of time to occur in, it is a form of becoming, and becoming cannot occur instantaneously. So we need to develop another dimension of time to account for this substantial change which occurs at the present, and relate it to the other dimension of time which is supposed to be a continuity through past and future. Some metaphysicians will talk about the present having width, I call it breadth.
  • jgill
    730
    So we need to develop another dimension of time to account for this substantial change which occurs at the present, and relate it to the other dimension of time which is supposed to be a continuity through past and futureMetaphysician Undercover

    Let me think about this. I wrote and posted a note on complex time recently that expresses a "real" and an "imaginary" time variable. But not in the way you describe. Interesting.
  • Metaphysician Undercover
    7.4k

    There are numerous ways multidimensional time has been approach. From physics it's a different approach as from metaphysics, but each way helps us to deal with the apparent vagueness of the present "now", assumed by special relativity. From the metaphysical approach, we have principles based in human experience, leading us toward a form of presentism. But experience demonstrates that we actually observe motion, "becoming" at the present, so the present cannot be a crisp moment, or point in time because motion requires time. This is the vagueness of the present described by Peirce, and employed as a fundamental premise in special relativity.

    Therefore if time is represented as a continuity with points dividing one part from another, this is not a proper representation because the notion of a point of separation is derived from the crisp division between past and future at the present. When we allow that time is passing at the present we can go in two principal ways. We can maintain that the first representation is correct, and claim that the separation cannot be made cleanly because human capacities don't allow us to do so, therefore "the present" is just an arbitrary period of time on the time line. Vagueness cannot be ruled out of this period of time. The more complex way is to represent the past and future as the line of being as one dimension of time, then show activity as occurring at a particular "vague point" on this line, with its own micro-scaled time to account for becoming. The difficulty is to establish the proper relation between the macro-scaled timeline of being, and the micro-scaled time of becoming, such that true understanding might be enabled. This requires determining precisely the activity which occurs at the present in the micro-scale, separating it from the activity of the macro-scale, such that this activity might be related to the activity of the macro-scale time line, as a distinct form of activity.
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