Perceiving Multiple Locations in Time: A Phenomenological Defence of Tenseless Theory
It is a common claim that one concept of time, tenseless theory, is in greater conflict with how the world seems to us (with the phenomenology) than the competing theories of tense theory and presentism. This paper offers at least one counter-example to that claim. Here, it is argued that tenseless theory fares better than its competitors in capturing the phenomenology in particular cases of perception. These cases are where the visual phenomenology is of events occurring together which must be occurring at different times. The commitments of matching such phenomenology in one’s ontology undermine tense theory and presentism and support tenseless theory.
KeywordsMetaphysics of time Experience of time Eternalism Presentism Tenseless theory Tense theory
Many thanks to anonymous reviewers who provided extensive suggestions and advice. Many of the thoughts here come from discussions with colleagues in Philosophy at University College Cork; in particular, my thanks to Julia Jansen, Lilian O’Brien and Joel Walmsley. And also from discussions with members of the TIMELY interdisciplinary research group; in particular, Valtteri Arstila, Bruno Mulder and Marc Wittmann. I am also grateful for general discussions with Robin Le Poidevin and Grace Weir. Lastly, a version of this paper was presented at a 2014 Trinity College Dublin Philosophy Colloquium, and I appreciate the very thought-provoking questions from attendees.
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