Consciousness and the Present

Part of the Boston Studies in the Philosophy and History of Science book series (BSPS, volume 285)


A perennial question in the philosophy of time concerns the relation between the objective “physical time” that features in empirical theories of motion and the subjective “human time” in which our own experiences unfold. This article is about one facet of this broader question: whether the phenomenon of consciousness allows us to make a principled distinction between the present and other times. A number of authors have argued that, without conscious observers, there would be no distinctions of past, present, and future. This paper defends the opposing thesis that there is no interesting connection between consciousness and presentness.


Time and consciousness Open future Physical time Human time Presentism Eternalism Growing block 


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of PhilosophyColgate UniversityHamiltonUSA

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