Heidegger's critique of the vulgar notion of time

Abstract This paper compares Heidegger's conception of time with more prevalent physical and broadly psychological analyses of time. The ?vulgar? notion of time, as Heidegger understands it, is based on the assumption that time, regardless of whether it is identified with tense or not, is something that is essentially measurable by clocks. Heidegger maintains that the vulgar notion of time is a distortion of his own preferred conception of temporality. I show how temporality may be understood as the non?sequential tensed structure underlying tensed discourse. I argue against any straightforward reduction of this tensed structure and the direction of time to physical occurrences. Nevertheless I argue that temporality can be distinguished from purely psychological analyses of temporal experience and from traditional conceptions of time as tensed experience. The selectiveness of demonstrative discourse provides the basis for Heidegger's critique and reconstruction of time understood as tensed discourse about things. Heidegger's scepticism about the interpretation of time as a sequence of nows that underlies the dominant interpretation of tense is due to his appropriation of the relativity of simultaneity from special relativity. But his interpretation of physical theory leads him to the thesis that time is pre?supposed but not completely analysed in physical theory. The meta?language of physical theory makes covert use of temporal notions, for entities can themselves only be understood in covertly temporal ways. I show how this claim may be understood and defended in the light of current physical theory. Heidegger's analysis gives us some basis for thinking that his own notion of temporality is built into an understanding of temporal experience. But I argue that Heidegger fails to make the case that physical time is ontologically dependent on human existence
Keywords No keywords specified (fix it)
Categories (categorize this paper)
DOI 10.1080/09672559608570824
 Save to my reading list
Follow the author(s)
My bibliography
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Revision history Request removal from index
Download options
PhilPapers Archive

Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy on self-archival     Papers currently archived: 23,217
External links
Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
Through your library
References found in this work BETA
Hilary Putnam (1967). Time and Physical Geometry. Journal of Philosophy 64 (8):240-247.

View all 11 references / Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

No citations found.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles

Monthly downloads

Added to index


Total downloads

40 ( #118,857 of 1,932,453 )

Recent downloads (6 months)

2 ( #332,993 of 1,932,453 )

How can I increase my downloads?

My notes
Sign in to use this feature

Start a new thread
There  are no threads in this forum
Nothing in this forum yet.