Juxtaposition as the Ideal Limit of Distended Duration

  • Milič Čapek
Part of the Boston Studies in the Philosophy of Science book series (BSPS, volume 7)


The extreme theoretical limit of the process of distention of duration, as it was described above, would be, properly speaking, a complete suspension of timeor, rather, its complete transformation into a homogeneous and static space. For by virtue of the increasingly restricted temporal span the successive phases of duration would become more and more externalto each other until their complete mutual exclusion would become equivalent to the complete externality of the juxtaposed terms. The present moment would shrink to a mathematical instant which, being without duration, would lose its concrete character of novelty and thus would be qualitatively identical to the past. The past itself, lacking any qualitative differentiation with respect to the present, would lose its constitutive character of pastness; it would be a purely verbal ‘past’ which, instead of precedingthe present, would coexistwith it, since the essence of succession consists in the qualitative differentiation between the anterior and subsequent moments. This qualitative differentiation depends, as we have seen, on the fact of elementary memory, that is, on the elementary survival of the past in the present. But there is no such survival within a durationless instant; mens momentanealacks recordatio. By the same token, the present deprived of novelty, and thus being qualitatively identical with the past, would not follow it, since its consecutive character would be purely verbal.


Elementary Memory Concrete Character Ideal Limit Reidel Publishing Company Divine Attribute 
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© D. Reidel Publishing Company, Dordrecht, Holland 1971

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  • Milič Čapek

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