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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)

Abstract

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.

Keywords

Elementary Memory Concrete Character Ideal Limit Reidel Publishing Company Divine Attribute 
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Notes

  1. 3.
    Cf. M. Čapek, ‘Was Gassendi a Predecessor of Newton?’, in Proceedings of the Xlth International Congress for History of Science, Ithaca 1962, Paris 1964, pp. 705–709.Google Scholar
  2. 4.
    A. Koyré, ‘Le vide et l’espace infini au XIVe siecle’, in: Études d’histoire de la pensée philosophique, Paris 1961, pp. 33–84.Google Scholar
  3. 5.
    F. M. Cornford, ‘The Invention of Space’, in Essays in Honor of Gilbert Murray, Allen & Unwin, London 1936, pp. 215–235.Google Scholar
  4. 6.
    Quoted by Max Jammer, Concepts of Space, Harvard Univ. Press, 1957, p. 8.Google Scholar
  5. 7.
    A. Koyré, From the Closed World to the Infinite Universe, Johns Hopkins Univ. Press, 1957, p. 154.Google Scholar
  6. 8.
    Cf. Oliver Lodge, Ether and Reality, Ch. X ‘Life and Mind and their Use of Ether’, with the characteristic quotations from Newton, Larmor and Maxwell; H. Weyl, Was ist Materie?, Berlin 1924 who speaks of aether in religious terms and quotes Hölderlin (p. 76); finally Maurice Maeterlinck, La vie de l’espace, Paris, 1928.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© D. Reidel Publishing Company, Dordrecht, Holland 1971

Authors and Affiliations

  • Milič Čapek

There are no affiliations available

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