• J. F. A. K. Van Benthem
Part of the Synthese Library book series (SYLI, volume 156)


The concept of a ‘point in time’ is an extremely abstract one, just as that of ‘point in space’. Centuries of school geometry and physics have made us familiar with this abstraction — but it remains a fact that even the strongest phrases of our ordinary language (‘the very moment that’, ‘right then’) refer to some (small) period. Relative size does not take one any nearer to the point level: ‘small’ is a pragmatic qualification. The split-second it takes you to close your eyes may well mean more than a life-time to some elementary particles in your eye-lids. Similarly, there is no ‘punctual’ present1 ; ‘right now’ being a small period of immediate awareness. Indeed, the phenomenon of awareness itself implies duration.


Partial Order Period Structure Minimal Period Interval Structure Convex Union 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© D. Reidel Publishing Company, Dordrecht, Holland 1983

Authors and Affiliations

  • J. F. A. K. Van Benthem
    • 1
  1. 1.Filosofisch InstituutRijksuniversiteit GroningenThe Netherlands

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