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Time! (and its ontologies)

PodlyPodly you unzipped me! it's all coming back! i don't like it!Registered User regular
edited February 2008 in Debate and/or Discourse
So I know that we've had a couple of threads about time before, but those were all nerdfests where people talked about how they wanted to go back in time so they wouldn't be such fat losers. I'd rather talk about the philosophical questions of time, specifically: Does only the present exist?

It starts from the notion of presence and existence. The present is to be accepted as everything in the world that exists NOW. Everything that exists must necessarily have existed in a present time, and has probably existed for many "presents." And it seems common sensical to think that things in the past do not exist, and that things in the future do not yet exist. (This works for both determinists and non-determinists. For the determinist, everything is set to happen, it just hasn't happened yet, and for the non determinist, things will happen, but they just aren't dependent upon the present per se.) Dinosaurs do not seem to exist, nor does the 50th president of the United States. (Let us assume that the 50th president of the United States will be an even that happens in the future.)

The theory of special relativity proposes problems for this. In the analytic tradition of Russell, Wittgenstein, etc, things exist because there are positive occurrences in the world that allows the statement "X exists" to be true. (e.g.: There are cats in the world, and thus the statement "Cat's exist" is true; there are no unicorns, so the statement "unicorns exist" is not true.) As Hillary Putnam points out, thanks to special relativity there are "No Privileged Observers," as held by Newtonian physics, and all observers are equally as veritable in their interactions. Thus, if I am on Alpha Centauri and you are here on earth, we may both be able to point to the same star and say simultaneously "This is star X and it exists because I see the phenomena." However, I may be closer to star X, so when the last beam of light enters my eye, I can afterwards say "Star X no longer exists." For a presentist, star X must no longer exist. However, the starlight is still traveling to you, and you can say that star X still exists, because the light is still in your eye. Both of us are equally correct. The presentists objection would be that the star didn't exist for either of us, because it had sent out it's last light and is no longer subsistent on its own to be an ontic being. This is both faulty science and philosophy. Phenomena exist for us as phenomena that are carried through us to our empirical senses. We can touch things and see things, so they exist. If I can see empirical evidence of something, it exists. I do not see the star anymore, so it does not exist, but you do so it does for you.

This has led many people to adopt and eternalist standpoint, saying that the past, present, and future exist synchronically. For example, the star's having ceased existing lies in the present for me, but the future for you. Ted Sider uses the example of Theseus Ship. On a journey, Theseus lives on Ship "S" from the port of X, sailing to Y. Along the way, he replaces every single plank. Is it the same ship that arrives at Y? It would seem so. But what if every plank was sent back to X, and the ship was reconstructed plank for plank back at X. Which is the ship? Is S at Y, because it was the same ship through time, or is S at X because it is composed of its parts? Sider would say it depends on how we define a ship, but cases can be made for both because beings have both spacial parts and time parts. My finger exists right now on the key "P," but it also exists on "f" when I started typing finger, because that is part of my temporal part. Likewise, I also exist with grey hair (given that I will have grey hair when I get older) because that is a temporal part of my hair.

It seems to me that the only way to be philosophically sound is to adopt an eternalist view against the traditional presentism. Plus, this opens up a whole delicious can of philosophical worms.

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  • deadonthestreetdeadonthestreet Registered User regular
    edited February 2008
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  • MrMisterMrMister Jesus dying on the cross in pain? Morally better than us. One has to go "all in".Registered User regular
    edited February 2008
    Podly wrote: »
    This is both faulty science and philosophy. Phenomena exist for us as phenomena that are carried through us to our empirical senses. We can touch things and see things, so they exist. If I can see empirical evidence of something, it exists. I do not see the star anymore, so it does not exist, but you do so it does for you.

    Nope. When I was in the desert, I had empirical evidence that there was an oasis over yonder--I saw it with my own two eyes. But it turned out to be a mirage. The oasis never existed despite my having empirical evidence for it, hence the bolded statements are wrong.

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  • PodlyPodly you unzipped me! it's all coming back! i don't like it!Registered User regular
    edited February 2008
    MrMister wrote: »
    Podly wrote: »
    This is both faulty science and philosophy. Phenomena exist for us as phenomena that are carried through us to our empirical senses. We can touch things and see things, so they exist. If I can see empirical evidence of something, it exists. I do not see the star anymore, so it does not exist, but you do so it does for you.

    Nope. When I was in the desert, I had empirical evidence that there was an oasis over yonder--I saw it with my own two eyes. But it turned out to be a mirage. The oasis never existed despite my having empirical evidence for it, hence the bolded statements are wrong.

    Yes, the mirage does exist for you, the water did not. The light from the star is the actual light from the star, so the two scenarios do not work out. Viewing the mirage is a distortion of your intention of the desert; viewing the light from the star is the actual evidence for how we define stars.

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  • Deviant HandsDeviant Hands __BANNED USERS regular
    edited February 2008
    It may be possible to send energy back in time.

    This would allow us to create computers that could compute faster than the speed of light and infact work faster the larger of an input you give it. Solving solutions in log(1/n) time.

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  • MrMisterMrMister Jesus dying on the cross in pain? Morally better than us. One has to go "all in".Registered User regular
    edited February 2008
    Podly wrote: »
    MrMister wrote: »
    Podly wrote: »
    This is both faulty science and philosophy. Phenomena exist for us as phenomena that are carried through us to our empirical senses. We can touch things and see things, so they exist. If I can see empirical evidence of something, it exists. I do not see the star anymore, so it does not exist, but you do so it does for you.

    Nope. When I was in the desert, I had empirical evidence that there was an oasis over yonder--I saw it with my own two eyes. But it turned out to be a mirage. The oasis never existed despite my having empirical evidence for it, hence the bolded statements are wrong.

    Yes, the mirage does exist for you, the water did not. The light from the star is the actual light from the star, so the two scenarios do not work out. Viewing the mirage is a distortion of your intention of the desert; viewing the light from the star is the actual evidence for how we define stars.

    Whatever, I'll just go global. Suppose I'm just a brain in a vat. None of the objects which I 'see' or 'touch' actually exist. Instead, I am being systematically deceived by a mad scientist into thinking that I'm living a regular life. Despite my having empirical evidence for the laptop that I suppose is in front of me, it does not exist. All that exists is my brain and the electrical signals being pulsed into it.

    Existence is separate from evidence.

    I suspect you're using some weird assumptions about reference-fixing, in the line of either Putnam or Ayer, and hence that you think that either the evidence that we commonly use to ascertain whether a phenomenon is occurring constitutes the phenomenon itself or that the meaning of our terms is fixed indexically even in cases where we deliberately think otherwise. Those strategies are implausible precisely because of cases in which we are deceived or otherwise confused.

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  • BurnageBurnage Registered User regular
    edited February 2008
    The problem with discussing time is that our language isn't really up to the task. Asking whether things in the past 'exist' is generally counter-intuitive to us, because if something in our present is destroyed we normally consider it to have ceased to exist.

    For what it's worth, I tend to view space-time in the form of co-ordinates. I exist at x 35 y 57 z 12 t 2008, my past self exists at x 34 y 57 z 12 t 2006, my great-grandchildren exist at x 20 y 57 z 97 t 2100, etc. etc.

    It's only our conscious view of the world that 'travels through time', so to speak. Everything that has existed or will exist at any given point in time exists.

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  • PodlyPodly you unzipped me! it's all coming back! i don't like it!Registered User regular
    edited February 2008
    MrMister wrote: »
    Whatever, I'll just go global. Suppose I'm just a brain in a vat. None of the objects which I 'see' or 'touch' actually exist. Instead, I am being systematically deceived by a mad scientist into thinking that I'm living a regular life. Despite my having empirical evidence for the laptop that I suppose is in front of me, it does not exist. All that exists is my brain and the electrical signals being pulsed into it.

    Existence is separate from evidence.

    I suspect you're using some weird assumptions about reference-fixing, in the line of either Putnam or Ayer, and hence that you think that either the evidence that we commonly use to ascertain whether a phenomenon is occurring constitutes the phenomenon itself or that the meaning of our terms is fixed indexically even in cases where we deliberately think otherwise. Those strategies are implausible precisely because of cases in which we are deceived or otherwise confused.

    Yes, but in your world you will never be able to talk about existing outside that world. What if someone is controlling the mad science, someone controlling that mad scientist, ad infinitum.

    I think that your hypothetical is much too radical to be of any use.

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  • PodlyPodly you unzipped me! it's all coming back! i don't like it!Registered User regular
    edited February 2008
    Burnage wrote: »
    The problem with discussing time is that our language isn't really up to the task. Asking whether things in the past 'exist' is generally counter-intuitive to us, because if something in our present is destroyed we normally consider it to have ceased to exist.

    For what it's worth, I tend to view space-time in the form of co-ordinates. I exist at x 35 y 57 z 12 t 2008, my past self exists at x 34 y 57 z 12 t 2006, my great-grandchildren exist at x 20 y 57 z 97 t 2100, etc. etc.

    It's only our conscious view of the world that 'travels through time', so to speak. Everything that has existed or will exist at any given point in time exists.

    Yes, but you are still using a definite frame of reference. For example, there is no definitive time. If I go at the speed of light for a year, it will feel like a year has passed, but come back and everything else has aged a thousand years.

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  • MrMisterMrMister Jesus dying on the cross in pain? Morally better than us. One has to go "all in".Registered User regular
    edited February 2008
    Podly wrote: »
    Yes, but in your world you will never be able to talk about existing outside that world.

    Sure I could. Suppose that we are both brains in vats, hooked up to one another, in a big lab where men with white coats bustle around connecting diodes. If that's the case, then my description of this hypothetical is actually an accurate description of the real world, and hence I am talking about it quite finely.

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  • BurnageBurnage Registered User regular
    edited February 2008
    Podly wrote: »
    Burnage wrote: »
    The problem with discussing time is that our language isn't really up to the task. Asking whether things in the past 'exist' is generally counter-intuitive to us, because if something in our present is destroyed we normally consider it to have ceased to exist.

    For what it's worth, I tend to view space-time in the form of co-ordinates. I exist at x 35 y 57 z 12 t 2008, my past self exists at x 34 y 57 z 12 t 2006, my great-grandchildren exist at x 20 y 57 z 97 t 2100, etc. etc.

    It's only our conscious view of the world that 'travels through time', so to speak. Everything that has existed or will exist at any given point in time exists.

    Yes, but you are still using a definite frame of reference. For example, there is no definitive time. If I go at the speed of light for a year, it will feel like a year has passed, but come back and everything else has aged a thousand years.

    Right, but that's your subjective view of time, surely? For an objective observer (some form of god watching from outside space/time, for example), wouldn't you have travelled a thousand years into your relative future? That you only experienced a year means little - every time I go to sleep I feel like a moment has passed, when really 8 hours has gone by.

    Even a boring lecture can feel like hours, whereas an interesting one can feel like minutes. Subjective accounts of time don't actually mean a whole lot.

    Burnage on
  • redxredx I(x)=2(x)+1 whole numbersRegistered User regular
    edited February 2008
    ehh... honestly your whole argument of things only existing if they are perceived strikes me as nothing but magical thinking.

    I'd accuse you of begging the question, but you did already have a thread about that, so instead I'll just state that I feel you are totally wrong in your key premise.

    also, dead stars still have mass and can therefor still be detected by there effects on light and other bodies. To say that something exists simply because we are not looking at it properly, means you are working with the mental depth of an infant. (this line of thought was not your intent).

    You could almost argue that the light from the star exists for one person and not the other, but I'd still say you were full of shit, due to my whole not buying into your ontological garbage.

    in fact, because the gravity of every object in space effects, to some degree, effects every other object in space, and because of the conservation of energy, nothing which has ever had mass can ever stop existing as long as perception exists in any form in the universe. You are basing this entire thread on events which can not happen according to even your own twisted logic.

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  • PodlyPodly you unzipped me! it's all coming back! i don't like it!Registered User regular
    edited February 2008
    MrMister wrote: »
    Podly wrote: »
    Yes, but in your world you will never be able to talk about existing outside that world.

    Sure I could. Suppose that we are both brains in vats, hooked up to one another, in a big lab where men with white coats bustle around connecting diodes. If that's the case, then my description of this hypothetical is actually an accurate description of the real world, and hence I am talking about it quite finely.

    Yes, but I would say that existence depends on our noetic interactions and true intentions with phenomena. You can never TRULY access an object, but by intention you can reflect phenomenologically with it. In my frame of reference, I can not see the other side of this salt shaker, but I know it exists. Likewise, I have never been to China, but I can intend with my impressions of it and know it's existence. Baudrillard would have you believe that EVERYTHING we interact with is a simulation, but nonetheless real. For Zizek, the real is inaccessible, but that which exists is not.

    Let me ask you a question: do the scientists live in a world that is exactly like ours, but that they are mandating our experience by forcing us to exist in this world through their own phenomonological presentation of it?

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  • DaedalusDaedalus Registered User regular
    edited February 2008
    It may be possible to send energy back in time.

    This would allow us to create computers that could compute faster than the speed of light and infact work faster the larger of an input you give it. Solving solutions in log(1/n) time.

    During my Systems Architecture class last semester, the thing that kept coming to mind was "man, if we could just look one billionth of a second into the future, we could make computers a hundred times faster."

    Daedalus on
  • saggiosaggio Registered User regular
    edited February 2008
    Have you been reading Heidegger or something, Poldy?

    Time exists. We can experience time insofar as it is a necessary predicate for objects, just like space. That means we don't experience time directly, we only experience time as it works against objects. Being objects ourselves, we are able to experience time as it works against objects.

    The present is an artificial construction that allows us to think and communicate coherently. Much like a point on a line - it doesn't really exist in any meaningful sense, but we posit it so that we may make sense of things.

    An objective frame of reference for time cannot exist if it is an object.

    Discuss.

    saggio on
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  • MrMisterMrMister Jesus dying on the cross in pain? Morally better than us. One has to go "all in".Registered User regular
    edited February 2008
    Podly wrote: »
    Let me ask you a question: do the scientists live in a world that is exactly like ours, but that they are mandating our experience by forcing us to exist in this world through their own phenomonological presentation of it?

    I don't see how it's relevant. Maybe the real world is nothing like we think. Maybe we are butterfly's dreams. Maybe we're awesome space-butterfly's dreams. Regardless, we're free to speculate on the actual nature of reality and how it differs from our perceptions, much as a woman at a track meet might wonder if the gun has actually gone off and the sound has not yet reached her, or if it has not gone off at all.

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  • PodlyPodly you unzipped me! it's all coming back! i don't like it!Registered User regular
    edited February 2008
    saggio wrote: »
    Have you been reading Heidegger or something, Poldy?

    Haha, very much so in fact :P
    Time exists. We can experience time insofar as it is a necessary predicate for objects, just like space. That means we don't experience time directly, we only experience time as it works against objects. Being objects ourselves, we are able to experience time as it works against objects.

    The present is an artificial construction that allows us to think and communicate coherently. Much like a point on a line - it doesn't really exist in any meaningful sense, but we posit it so that we may make sense of things.

    An objective frame of reference for time cannot exist if it is an object.

    Discuss.

    I wholeheartedly agree that no definite objective frame of reference exists for anyone who interacts within a system of phenomena. However, I disagree that the present does not exist. The present is not so much a moment in time but a system of relations that exists at any period of relation.

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  • PodlyPodly you unzipped me! it's all coming back! i don't like it!Registered User regular
    edited February 2008
    MrMister wrote: »
    Podly wrote: »
    Let me ask you a question: do the scientists live in a world that is exactly like ours, but that they are mandating our experience by forcing us to exist in this world through their own phenomonological presentation of it?

    I don't see how it's relevant. Maybe the real world is nothing like we think. Maybe we are butterfly's dreams. Maybe we're awesome space-butterfly's dreams. Regardless, we're free to speculate on the actual nature of reality and how it differs from our perceptions, much as a woman at a track meet might wonder if the gun has actually gone off and the sound has not yet reached her, or if it has not gone off at all.

    Well my argument is that if the created world is the exact same as the outside world, then you are indeed experiencing evidence of China's existence. My notions of China are not 100% correct, but I suspect that it's existence would be basically the same as the evidence I have of it.

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  • saggiosaggio Registered User regular
    edited February 2008
    Podly wrote: »
    saggio wrote: »
    Have you been reading Heidegger or something, Poldy?

    Haha, very much so in fact :P
    Time exists. We can experience time insofar as it is a necessary predicate for objects, just like space. That means we don't experience time directly, we only experience time as it works against objects. Being objects ourselves, we are able to experience time as it works against objects.

    The present is an artificial construction that allows us to think and communicate coherently. Much like a point on a line - it doesn't really exist in any meaningful sense, but we posit it so that we may make sense of things.

    An objective frame of reference for time cannot exist if it is an object.

    Discuss.

    I wholeheartedly agree that no definite objective frame of reference exists for anyone who interacts within a system of phenomena. However, I disagree that the present does not exist. The present is not so much a moment in time but a system of relations that exists at any period of relation.

    ...Which can only ever be understood as a point in time in the past or in the future.

    saggio on
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  • PodlyPodly you unzipped me! it's all coming back! i don't like it!Registered User regular
    edited February 2008
    saggio wrote: »
    Podly wrote: »
    saggio wrote: »
    Have you been reading Heidegger or something, Poldy?

    Haha, very much so in fact :P
    Time exists. We can experience time insofar as it is a necessary predicate for objects, just like space. That means we don't experience time directly, we only experience time as it works against objects. Being objects ourselves, we are able to experience time as it works against objects.

    The present is an artificial construction that allows us to think and communicate coherently. Much like a point on a line - it doesn't really exist in any meaningful sense, but we posit it so that we may make sense of things.

    An objective frame of reference for time cannot exist if it is an object.

    Discuss.

    I wholeheartedly agree that no definite objective frame of reference exists for anyone who interacts within a system of phenomena. However, I disagree that the present does not exist. The present is not so much a moment in time but a system of relations that exists at any period of relation.

    ...Which can only ever be understood as a point in time in the past or in the future.

    Perhaps the present needs a necessary distinction: the present is real / "is," but does not subsistently exist.

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  • ShintoShinto __BANNED USERS regular
    edited February 2008
    Yes, I think only the present exists.

    Time is just motion, so . . .

    Shinto on
  • TaximesTaximes Registered User regular
    edited February 2008
    I like the idea of time as the fourth dimension as portrayed ala Slaughterhouse Five (and that "Imagining the Tenth Dimension" video, too).

    Time (like x, y and z) is just another variable to pinpoint an object's position in the universe. If we could see time the same way we see the first three dimensions, we might see a person as a continuous "stream" flowing from their birth to their death, going through everywhere they went in between.

    If you imagine someone who existed in two dimensions trying to perceive a three dimensional object, perhaps the best way they could understand it would be to see 2D cross sections of it. Similarly, we see 3D cross sections of time.
    When a Tralfamadorian sees a corpse, all he thinks is that the dead person is in a bad condition in that particular moment, but that the same person is just fine in plenty of other moments. Now, when I myself hear that somebody is dead, I simply shrug and say what the Tralfamadorians say about dead people, which is 'So it goes'.

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  • saggiosaggio Registered User regular
    edited February 2008
    Poldy wrote:
    Perhaps the present needs a necessary distinction: the present is real / "is," but does not subsistently exist.

    You are just repeating what I said. The present doesn't exist. We posit the existence of the present for coherence and ease of communication and thought.

    saggio on
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  • PodlyPodly you unzipped me! it's all coming back! i don't like it!Registered User regular
    edited February 2008
    saggio wrote: »
    Poldy wrote:
    Perhaps the present needs a necessary distinction: the present is real / "is," but does not subsistently exist.

    You are just repeating what I said. The present doesn't exist. We posit the existence of the present for coherence and ease of communication and thought.

    I'm a little confused. Do you agree on the reality of the present, but dismiss its existence?

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  • AdrienAdrien Registered User regular
    edited February 2008
    Taximes wrote: »
    I like the idea of time as the fourth dimension as portrayed ala Slaughterhouse Five (and I think that "Imagining the Tenth Dimension" video, too).

    Time (like x, y and z) is just another variable to pinpoint an object's position in the universe. If we could see time the same way we see the first three dimensions, we might see a person as a continuous "stream" flowing from their birth to their death, going through everywhere they went in between.

    If you imagine someone who existed in two dimensions trying to perceive a three dimensional object, perhaps the best way they could understand it would be to see 2D cross sections of it. Similarly, we see 3D cross sections of time.

    Strictly speaking, we see 2D projections.

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  • PodlyPodly you unzipped me! it's all coming back! i don't like it!Registered User regular
    edited February 2008
    Burnage wrote: »
    Podly wrote: »
    Burnage wrote: »
    The problem with discussing time is that our language isn't really up to the task. Asking whether things in the past 'exist' is generally counter-intuitive to us, because if something in our present is destroyed we normally consider it to have ceased to exist.

    For what it's worth, I tend to view space-time in the form of co-ordinates. I exist at x 35 y 57 z 12 t 2008, my past self exists at x 34 y 57 z 12 t 2006, my great-grandchildren exist at x 20 y 57 z 97 t 2100, etc. etc.

    It's only our conscious view of the world that 'travels through time', so to speak. Everything that has existed or will exist at any given point in time exists.

    Yes, but you are still using a definite frame of reference. For example, there is no definitive time. If I go at the speed of light for a year, it will feel like a year has passed, but come back and everything else has aged a thousand years.

    Right, but that's your subjective view of time, surely? For an objective observer (some form of god watching from outside space/time, for example), wouldn't you have travelled a thousand years into your relative future? That you only experienced a year means little - every time I go to sleep I feel like a moment has passed, when really 8 hours has gone by.

    No, you're clock will actually tell you only a year has passed.

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  • saggiosaggio Registered User regular
    edited February 2008
    Podly wrote: »
    saggio wrote: »
    Poldy wrote:
    Perhaps the present needs a necessary distinction: the present is real / "is," but does not subsistently exist.

    You are just repeating what I said. The present doesn't exist. We posit the existence of the present for coherence and ease of communication and thought.

    I'm a little confused. Do you agree on the reality of the present, but dismiss its existence?

    What do you mean by "reality" of the present? I hold that the present has no objective ontological status, and that what is generally thought of as "the present" is just a conventional construction which serves a number of purposes in language, thought, and communication.

    saggio on
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  • PodlyPodly you unzipped me! it's all coming back! i don't like it!Registered User regular
    edited February 2008
    saggio wrote: »
    Podly wrote: »
    saggio wrote: »
    Poldy wrote:
    Perhaps the present needs a necessary distinction: the present is real / "is," but does not subsistently exist.

    You are just repeating what I said. The present doesn't exist. We posit the existence of the present for coherence and ease of communication and thought.

    I'm a little confused. Do you agree on the reality of the present, but dismiss its existence?

    What do you mean by "reality" of the present? I hold that the present has no objective ontological status, and that what is generally thought of as "the present" is just a conventional construction which serves a number of purposes in language, thought, and communication.

    I mean that we can differentiate between reality/being and existing. Reality is the mere ontic nature of something, it's pure beingness in a system of possible phenomena in the world. Existence is it's actual phenomenological subject - object interaction.

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  • saggiosaggio Registered User regular
    edited February 2008
    Podly wrote: »
    saggio wrote: »
    Podly wrote: »
    saggio wrote: »
    Poldy wrote:
    Perhaps the present needs a necessary distinction: the present is real / "is," but does not subsistently exist.

    You are just repeating what I said. The present doesn't exist. We posit the existence of the present for coherence and ease of communication and thought.

    I'm a little confused. Do you agree on the reality of the present, but dismiss its existence?

    What do you mean by "reality" of the present? I hold that the present has no objective ontological status, and that what is generally thought of as "the present" is just a conventional construction which serves a number of purposes in language, thought, and communication.

    I mean that we can differentiate between reality/being and existing. Reality is the mere ontic nature of something, it's pure beingness in a system of possible phenomena in the world. Existence is it's actual phenomenological subject - object interaction.

    No. Or, at least, maybe. You are going to have to define your terms here, and not just parrot Heidegger back at me. I haven't done any phenomonology, so if you want to use concepts from that branch of philosophy, you are going to have to be extra rigorous.

    Now, how are you defining phenomena? Are phenomena simply interactions between objects in experience? Or are they something else? What is "ontic" and how does it differ from the word and meaning of "ontology" and its many permutations?

    If we say that Object A exists, we are making an ontological claim about Object A, specifically saying that it exists as a being in the affirmative. If we say that Object A fulfills the function of X, we are also making an ontological claim about Object A, as well as an epistemological claim. The ontological claim in this case is different from that of the first claim, as in the first claim we are asserting the simple existence of the object, while in the second we are asserting the particular existence of the object in terms of function or quality.

    Are you saying that we can assert the simple existence of the present without also asserting the particular existence of the present? Or are you saying that we can assert the particular existence of the present without asserting the simple existence?

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  • PodlyPodly you unzipped me! it's all coming back! i don't like it!Registered User regular
    edited February 2008
    It starts from a differentiation between ontic and ontological. Ontic is simple presence. Ontological is relation. If there object X were in it's own little universe, it would "be," but it would not "exist." Existence comes from the phenomenological interaction within a system. Phenomena is best understood in terms of the greek "phenomain," "to present oneself." Phenomena is that which enters into our subjective interaction, with which we can intend (i.e., philosophically reflect upon and interact with). Thus China, which I have never been to, is still a phenomenon for me.

    Edit* Thus the present is a strange amalgam of the particular and the general, because there are multiple presents, but also only one possible general present in a frame of reference.

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  • saggiosaggio Registered User regular
    edited February 2008
    Podly wrote: »
    It starts from a differentiation between ontic and ontological. Ontic is simple presence. Ontological is relation. If there object X were in it's own little universe, it would "be," but it would not "exist." Existence comes from the phenomenological interaction within a system. Phenomena is best understood in terms of the greek "phenomain," "to present oneself." Phenomena is that which enters into our subjective interaction, with which we can intend (i.e., philosophically reflect upon and interact with). Thus China, which I have never been to, is still a phenomenon for me.

    What about things which exist as a priori propositions? Your example is unclear; if seems to imply that only by experiencing interaction between an object and oneself will a person ever be able to philosophically reflect with it.

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  • PodlyPodly you unzipped me! it's all coming back! i don't like it!Registered User regular
    edited February 2008
    saggio wrote: »
    Podly wrote: »
    It starts from a differentiation between ontic and ontological. Ontic is simple presence. Ontological is relation. If there object X were in it's own little universe, it would "be," but it would not "exist." Existence comes from the phenomenological interaction within a system. Phenomena is best understood in terms of the greek "phenomain," "to present oneself." Phenomena is that which enters into our subjective interaction, with which we can intend (i.e., philosophically reflect upon and interact with). Thus China, which I have never been to, is still a phenomenon for me.

    What about things which exist as a priori propositions? Your example is unclear; if seems to imply that only by experiencing interaction between an object and oneself will a person ever be able to philosophically reflect with it.

    Well Husserl is not very concerned with foundationalism or a priori truths, and I'm not quite sure about Heidegger, but it would seem think that it didn't matter until the meaning of being is ascertained.

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  • saggiosaggio Registered User regular
    edited February 2008
    Podly wrote: »
    saggio wrote: »
    Podly wrote: »
    It starts from a differentiation between ontic and ontological. Ontic is simple presence. Ontological is relation. If there object X were in it's own little universe, it would "be," but it would not "exist." Existence comes from the phenomenological interaction within a system. Phenomena is best understood in terms of the greek "phenomain," "to present oneself." Phenomena is that which enters into our subjective interaction, with which we can intend (i.e., philosophically reflect upon and interact with). Thus China, which I have never been to, is still a phenomenon for me.

    What about things which exist as a priori propositions? Your example is unclear; if seems to imply that only by experiencing interaction between an object and oneself will a person ever be able to philosophically reflect with it.

    Well Husserl is not very concerned with foundationalism or a priori truths, and I'm not quite sure about Heidegger, but it would seem think that it didn't matter until the meaning of being is ascertained.

    "Meaning of being?" You are making no sense. Anyway, time is an a priori truth, and unless your metaphysics can deal with it, then we won't be able to deal with this discussion. I'm slightly disappointed, Poldy.

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  • PodlyPodly you unzipped me! it's all coming back! i don't like it!Registered User regular
    edited February 2008
    saggio wrote: »
    "Meaning of being?" You are making no sense. Anyway, time is an a priori truth, and unless your metaphysics can deal with it, then we won't be able to deal with this discussion. I'm slightly disappointed, Poldy.

    Heidegger's whole line of thought stems from the question of what we "mean" when we say be. Thus, everything stems from that question. And time is not an a priori "truth," because we can question the nature of time, and it's voracity. It cannot be a priori, likewise, if we are dealing with something that can be subjective. From your description of time, I'm not quite sure what you mean by the "truth" of time. That we experience it? Then clearly you didn't read my first post, as it dealt with the experiences of time.

    I'm slightly disappointed, Saggio.

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  • saggiosaggio Registered User regular
    edited February 2008
    Time as a concept is a priori insofar as it can exist without reference to experience, as well as be described and known without reference to experience. Kind of like space. In fact, just like space.
    Heidegger's whole line of thought stems from the question of what we "mean" when we say be

    Oh no, are we getting language analysis here? I certainly hope not, I've had enough of that in the bloody Analytics...
    From your description of time, I'm not quite sure what you mean by the "truth" of time. That we experience it? Then clearly you didn't read my first post, as it dealt with the experiences of time.

    I apologize, I didn't mean to write truth. That was a typo and I didn't even realize it until you responded.

    Time, as a concept can be understood as existing without reference to experience, because it is a predicate for objects. Space is much the same way; as a concept, it can be known without reference to that which it contains, which is objects in experience. Do you understand?

    Poldy, I'm disappointed.

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  • themightypuckthemightypuck MontanaRegistered User regular
    edited February 2008
    If science killed religion it did a real Robert Francois Damiens on philosophy.

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  • Apothe0sisApothe0sis Have you ever questioned the nature of your reality? Registered User regular
    edited February 2008
    Science trumps philosophy.

    Spacetime -> the present is only a single point in spacetime.

    Thread over.

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  • PodlyPodly you unzipped me! it's all coming back! i don't like it!Registered User regular
    edited February 2008
    Apothe0sis wrote: »
    Science trumps philosophy.

    Spacetime -> the present is only a single point in spacetime.

    Thread over.

    Science is not separate from philosophy, and rests on philosophical concepts.

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  • themightypuckthemightypuck MontanaRegistered User regular
    edited February 2008
    Podly wrote: »
    Apothe0sis wrote: »
    Science trumps philosophy.

    Spacetime -> the present is only a single point in spacetime.

    Thread over.

    Science is not separate from philosophy, and rests on philosophical concepts.

    True but not ontological ones.

    Edit: actually that's probably not true as I recently read "The Road to Reality" by Roger Penrose and he spent a fair bit of time talking about whether mathematics is "real" in a Platonic sense. However, I'd be curious to know what exactly we have learned in the last 2500 years from philosophers? I am fascinated by the questions but it doesn't seem like there are satisfying answers.

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  • Apothe0sisApothe0sis Have you ever questioned the nature of your reality? Registered User regular
    edited February 2008
    Podly wrote: »
    Apothe0sis wrote: »
    Science trumps philosophy.

    Spacetime -> the present is only a single point in spacetime.

    Thread over.

    Science is not separate from philosophy, and rests on philosophical concepts.

    Are you on drugs? Way to completely miss the thrust of the post.

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  • zakkielzakkiel Registered User regular
    edited February 2008
    So I know that we've had a couple of threads about time before, but those were all nerdfests where people talked about how they wanted to go back in time so they wouldn't be such fat losers. I'd rather talk about the philosophical questions of time, specifically: Does only the present exist?
    I love it when philosophers try to discuss space and time. The answer to your question is "no." Look up relativity of simultaneity.

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