This paper explores the distinction between perceiving an object as extended in time, and experiencing a sequence of perceptions. I argue that this distinction cannot be adequately described by any present theory of time-consciousness and that in order to solve the puzzle, we need to consider perceptual content as having three distinct constituents: Explicit content, which has a particular phenomenal character, modal content, or the kind of content that is contributed by the psychological mode, and implicit content, (...) which lacks phenomenal character. These notions are then further clarified and related to each other. (shrink)
Bergson argues for free will by showing that the arguments against it come from a confusion of different conceptions of time. As opposed to physicists' idea of measurable time, in human experience life is perceived as a continuous and unmeasurable flow rather than as a succession of marked-off states of consciousness--something that can be measured not quantitatively, but only qualitatively. His conclusion is that free will is an observable fact.
Abstract: This article considers the conceptual connections between self-consciousness, objectivity, and time. The model of conceptual analysis employed examines the necessary conditions of the meaningfulness of expressions in language. In the course of this analysis two distinct options for the explanation of self-consciousness are identified and examined. According to the first (Strawsonian) view, self-consciousness is based upon the distinction between the self and other subjects of consciousness; according to the second (Kantian) view, self-consciousness is (...) based upon the distinction between the self and the world. The first option is rejected, and a variation of the second option is adopted. According to it, in self-consciousness one is conscious of oneself as a temporally extended point of view (consciousness) over an objective and temporal realm of reality. (shrink)
War captivity is an extreme traumatic experience typically involving exposure to repeated stressors, including torture, isolation, and humiliation. Captives are flung from their previous known world into an unfamiliar reality in which their state of consciousness may undergo significant change. In the present study extensive interviews were conducted with fifteen Israeli former prisoners of war who fell captive during the 1973 Yom Kippur war with the goal of examining the architecture of human thought in subjects lacking a sense of (...) body (disembodiment) as a result of confinement and isolation. Analysis of the interviews revealed that threats to a normal sense of body often lead to a loss of the sense of time as an objective dimension. Evidence suggests that the loss of the sense of body and the loss of the sense of time are in fact connected; that is, they collapse together. This breakdown in turn results in a collapse of the sense of self. (shrink)
By examining Dainton's account of the temporality of consciousness in the context of long-running debates about the specious present and timeconsciousness in both the Jamesian and the phenomenological traditions, I raise critical objections to his overlap model. Dainton's interpretations of Broad and Husserl are both insightful and problematic. In addition, there are unresolved problems in Dainton's own analysis of conscious experience. These problems involve ongoing content, lingering content, and a lack of phenomenological clarity concerning the central (...) concept of overlapping experiences. (shrink)
The text surveys the development of the debate between Zahavi and Brough/Sokolowski regarding Husserl’s account of inner time-consciousness. The main arguments on both sides are reconsidered, and a compromise is proposed.
A number of recent attempts to bridge Husserlian phenomenology of timeconsciousness and contemporary tools and results from cognitive science or computational neuroscience are described and critiqued. An alternate proposal is outlined that lacks the weaknesses of existing accounts.
In the introduction to Zur Phänomenologie des inneren Zeitbewusstseins, Husserl remarks that “we get entangled in the most peculiar difficulties, contradictions, and confusions” (Hua X, 4) the moment we seek to account for time-consciousness. I think most scholars of Husserl’s writings on these issues would agree. Attempting to unravel the inner workings of time-consciousness can indeed easily induce a kind of intellectual vertigo. Let us consequently start with some of the basic questions that motivated Husserl’s inquiry.
The collection of Edmund Husserl's sketches on time-consciousness from the years 1893-1917, edited by Rudolf Boehm and published as Volume X in the Husserliana series, affords significant new material for the study of the evolution of Husserl's thought. Specifically, the sketches suggest that in the course of analyzing the consciousness of temporal objects Husserl became convinced that a distinction must be drawn between an ultimate or absolute flow of consciousness and the immanent temporal objects or contents (...) -- sense-data, appearances of external things, acts of wishing, judging, etc. -- constituted or known within that flow. Further, the texts indicate that the emergence of the absolute dimension was connected with the development during this period of two distinct interpretations of the constitution of time-consciousness. Husserl apparently worked out the first of these during the years 1901-1907, and only towards the end of this period did the notion of an absolute consciousness, absent in earlier texts, make its appearance. And no sooner did it emerge than Husserl undertook a critique of his first interpretation which ultimately culminated in its rejection. In the new position which then appeared, around 1909, the absolute flow of time-constituting consciousness, and its distinction from temporal objects both immanent and transcendent, was unequivocally affirmed. We propose now to discuss this evolution and the emergence and nature of the absolute flow of consciousness. -/- . (shrink)
Gadamer's philosophical hermeneutics belongs to the phenomenological tradition. What is striking then is that one of the central themes in phenomenology, the nature of timeconsciousness, receives no sustained treatment in Gadamer's writings. It's fair to say that Gadamer is the only major figure in phenomenology not to address the issue of time at length. In this paper I argue that Gadamer does have an account of timeconsciousness and it can be (...) found most fully articulated in his account of the aesthetic experience connected to festivals. Festivals, as models of epochal experiences, are the primordial experiences of time upon which other forms of timeconsciousness (time as used and filled and scientific time) are constituted. Significantly, then, the reproduction of the meaning of tradition plays a role in the heart of Gadamer's theory of time and therefore his theory of experience. (shrink)
David Clarke examines the complex relationship between phenomenological and semiological understandings of music and consciousness through the window of time. He also explores the polar tension between Husserl's phenomenology and Derrida's critique of it, considering what the experience of music might have to offer in response to the crucial question of what is most primordial or essential to consciousness: the unceasing, differential movement of meaning, or some pure flow of subjectivity that underpins all our experience.
The nature of time-consciousness is one of the central themes of phenomenology, and one that all major phenomenologists have addressed at length, except Hans-Georg Gadamer. This paper attempts to develop Gadamer’s account of time-consciousness by looking, firstly, at two essays related to the topic, and then turning to his discussion of experience in Truth and Method (1960/1991) before, finally, considering his discussion of the unique temporality of the festival in the essay “The Relevance of the Beautiful” (...) (1977/1986). What we find in Gadamer’s understanding of time is an emphasis on the epochal structure of timeconsciousness. Indo-Pacific Journal of Phenomenology , Volume 7, Edition 2 September 2007. (shrink)
1. Introduction: The problems of time and consciousness What is time? St. Augustine remarked that when no one asked him, he knew what time was; however when someone asked him, he did not. Is time a process which flows? Is time a dimension in which processes occur? Does time actually exist? The notion that time is a process which "flows" directionally may be illusory (the "myth of passage") for if time did (...) flow it would do so in some medium or vessel (e.g. minutes per what?) . But if time is a dimension in which processes occurred, e.g. as one component of a 4 dimensional spacetime, then why would processes occur unidirectionally in time? Yet we perceive time as an orderly, unidirectional process. An alternative explanation is that time does not exist as either a process or dimension, but that reality is a collage of discrete, disconnected and haphazardly arranged configurations of the universe, e.g. as described in Julian Barbour's "The end of time" . In this view our perception of a unidirectional flow of time occurs because each moment, or "Now" as Barbour terms them, involves memory of other conceptually relevant moments, and the orderly flow of time is an illusion. Barbour's deconstruction of time contrasts the Newtonian reality of objects moving deterministically through 4 dimensional spacetime. Newton's contemporary (and rival) Leibniz  viewed the world in a manner consistent with Barbour (and with Mach's principle that the spatiotemporal structure of the universe is dependent on the distribution of mass, a foundation of Einstein's general relativity). According to Leibniz the world is to be understood not as matter/mass moving in a framework of space and time, but of more fundamental snapshot-like entities that momentarily fuse space and matter into single possible arrangements or configurations of the entire universe. Such configurations, which can be fabulously rich and complex considering the vastness of the universe, are the ultimate "things" of reality, which Leibniz termed "monads".. (shrink)
If one looks at the current discussion of self-awareness there seems to be a general agreement that whatever valuable philosophical contributions Husserl might have made, his account of self-awareness is not among them. This prevalent appraisal is often based on the claim that Husserl was too occupied with the problem of intentionality to ever really pay attention to the issue of self-awareness. Due to his interest in intentionality Husserl took object-consciousness as the paradigm of every kind of awareness and (...) therefore settled with a model of self-awareness based upon the subject-object dichotomy, with its entailed difference between the intending and the intended. As a consequence, Husserl never discovered the existence of pre-reflective self- awareness, but remained stuck in the traditional, but highly problematic reflection model of self-awareness. (shrink)
This paper examines Husserl’s fascination with the issues raised by Hume’s critique of the philosophy of the ego and the continuity of consciousness. The path taken here follows a continental and phenomenological approach. Husserl’s 1905 lecture course on the temporalization of immanent time-consciousness is a phenomenological-eidetic examination of how the continuity of consciousness and the consciousness of continuity are possible. It was by way of Husserl’s reading of Hume’s discussion of “flux” or “flow” that his (...) discourse on temporal phenomena led to the classification of a point-like now as a “fiction” and opened up a horizonal approach to the present that Hume’s introspective analyses presuppose but that escaped the limitations of the language that was available to him. In order to demonstrate the radicality of Husserl’s temporal investigations and his inspiration in the work of Hume, I show how his phenomenological discourse on the living temporal flow of consciousness resolves the latter’s concern about the problem of continuity by re-thinking how, in the absence of an abiding impression of Self, experience is continuous throughout the flux of its running off impressions. (shrink)
What is consciousness? Conventional approaches see it as an emergent property of complex interactions among individual neurons; however these approaches fail to address enigmatic features of consciousness. Accordingly, some philosophers have contended that "qualia," or an experiential medium from which consciousness is derived, exists as a fundamental component of reality. Whitehead, for example, described the universe as being composed of "occasions of experience." To examine this possibility scientifically, the very nature of physical reality must be re-examined. We (...) must come to terms with the physics of spacetime-as described by Einstein's general theory of relativity, and its relation to the fundamental theory of matter-as described by quantum theory. Roger Penrose has proposed a new physics of objective reduction: "OR," which appeals to a form of quantum gravity to provide a useful description of fundamental processes at the quantum/classical borderline.hz Within the OR scheme, we consider that consciousness occurs if an appropriately organized system is able to develop and maintain quantum coherent superposition until a specific "objective" criterion (a threshold related to quantum gravity) is reached; the coherent system then self-reduces (objective reduction: OR). We contend that this type of objective self-collapse introduces non-computability, an essential feature of consciousness which distinguishes our minds from classical computers. Each OR is taken as an instantaneous event-the climax of a self-organizing process in fundamental spacetime-and a candidate for a conscious Whitehead "occasion of experience." How could an OR process occur in the brain, be coupled to neural activities, and account for other features of consciousness? We nominate a quantum computational OR process with the requisite characteristics to be occurring in cytoskeletal microtubules within the brain's neurons. In this model, quantum-superposed states develop in microtubule subunit proteins ("tubulins") within certain brain neurons, remain coherent, and recruit more superposed tubulins until a mass-time-energy threshold (related to quantum gravity) is reached.. (shrink)
I would like to thank Professor Rudolf Bernet, the Director of the Husserl Archives in Louvain, Belgium and Professor Dieter Lohmar, the Director of the Husserl Archives in Cologne, for permission to cite from the manuscripts of the Nachlaß. In particular, I would like to thank Professor Lohmar for the many helpful suggestions he made regarding Husserl’s positions on our apprehension of time. I continually benefited from his insights during my stay at the Archives. I would also like to (...) express my gratitude to Siefried Rombach who read my manuscript with great care and offered a number of suggestions for its improvement. I am also greatful to the members of the seminar at the Cologne Archives who participated in reading Husserl’s writings on timeconsciousness. Many of their insights have also found their way into my text. Without my wife, Josephine Mensch’s careful proofreading and suggestions for improving my text, it also would not have reached its present form. (shrink)
In what follows, I suggest that, against most theories of time, there really is an actual present, a now, but that such an eternal moment cannot be found before or after time. It may even be semantically incoherent to say that such an eternal present exists since “it” is changeless and formless (presumably a dynamic chaos without location or duration) yet with creative potential. Such a field of near-infinite potential energy could have had no beginning and will have (...) no end, yet within it stirs the desire to experience that brings forth singularities, like the one that exploded into the Big Bang (experiencing itself through relative and relational spacetime). From the perspective of the eternal now of near-infinite possibilities (if such a sentence can be semantically parsed at all), there is only the timeless creative present, so the Big Bang did not happen some 13 billion years ago. Inasmuch as there is neither time past nor time future nor any time at all at the null point of forever, we must understand the Big Bang (and all other events) as taking place right here and now. In terms of the eternal now, the beginning is happening now and we just appeared (and are always just appearing) to witness it. The rest is all conscious construction; time and experience are so entangled, they need each other to exist. (shrink)
Even a cursory glance in Die Bernauer Manuskripte über das Zeitbewusstsein makes it evident that one of Husserl’s major concerns in his 1917-18 reflections on time-consciousness was how to account for the constitution of time without giving rise to an infinite regress. Not only does Husserl constantly refer to this problem in Husserliana XXXIII – as he characteristically writes at one point “Überall drohen, scheint es, unendliche Regresse”(Hua 33/81) – (...) but he also takes care to distinguish between several different regresses (cf. Hua 33/271). One of the more troubling ones is the one that might be called the regress of foundation. It concerns the problem of how to avoid always having to presuppose yet another underlying constituting consciousness. As we will soon see, the attempt to avoid this specific regress is closely linked to the problem of how to come up with a satisfactory account of self-awareness. That Husserl himself was well aware of this link can be inferred from some of his reflections in the beginning of Husserliana XXXIII. As he writes at one point, consciousness exists, it exists as a stream, and it appears to itself as a stream. But how the stream of consciousness is capable of being conscious of itself, how it is possible and comprehensible that the very being of the stream is a form of self-consciousness, is the enduring problem of the entire treatise (Hua 33/44, 46). In this article, I wish to take a closer look at some of Husserl’s attempts in the Bernau Manuscripts to account for time-consciousness without giving rise to an infinite regress. (shrink)
This chapter will examine two puzzles that percolate Husserl’s On the Phenomenology of the Consciousness of Internal Time (PITC). They concern: (1) whether or not memory is pictorial and (2) whether or not the temporal determinations (past, now, future, etc.) are categories. Considering these aporetic discussions helps us to understand the time diagrams Husserl uses, as well as some of the motivation behind Husserl’s talk of the two intentionalities of retention and his talk of the time-constituting (...) flow. Moreover, this approach to PITC helps to highlight the role that aporetic considerations play in phenomenological investigation more generally. (shrink)
Outline by Section: I. INTRODUCTION: METHOD OF PHENOMENOLOGY II. REDUCTION FROM DOGMAS III. EXAMPLES OF PHENOMENOLOGICAL DESCRIPTION OF A. SENTENCE B. MELODY C. DIAGRAM OF TIME IV. MODIFICATIONS AS MODES OF TEMPORAL STRUCTURE V. RETENTION VI. CONSTITUTION OF EXTERNAL TIMETime present and time past.
Roger Penrose, in _The Emperor's New Mind_ (1989), writes about the way Mozart perceived music. Mozart did not play a piece in his mind in real time, or even speeded up, but could hold it before him all at once. We all do this, although usually for much shorter riffs than entire symphonies. I have argued that the all-at-onceness of our thoughts and perceptions is at least as inexplicable as what it is like to see red; I think the (...) aural/temporal all-at-onceness makes the point at least as vividly as the visual/spatial all-at-onceness of the curl of smoke in an art nouveau poster. (shrink)
Time plays a central role in consciousness, at different levels and in different aspects of information processing. Subliminal perception experiments demonstrate that stimuli presented too briefly to enter conscious awareness are nevertheless processed to some extent. Implicit learning, implicit memory, and conditioning studies suggest that the extent to which memory traces are available for verbal report and for cognitive control is likewise dependent on the time available for processing during acquisition. Differences in the time available for (...) processing also determine not only the extent to which one becomes conscious of action, but also provides the basis for making attributions of authorship to experienced acts. In this paper, we offer a brief overview of these different findings and suggest that they can all be understood based on the fact that consciousness takes time. From this perspective, the availability of representations to conscious awareness depends on the quality of these representations — the extent to which they are strong, stable in time, and distinctive. High-quality representations occur when processes of global competition have had sufficient time to operate so as to make the system settle into the best possible interpretation of the input. Such processes implement global constraint satisfaction and critically depend on reentrant processing, through which representations can be further enriched by high-level constraints. We discuss these ideas in light of current theories of consciousness, emphasizing the fact that consciousness should be viewed as a process rather than as a static property associated with some states and not with others. (shrink)
Participants were required to switch among randomly ordered tasks, and instructional cues were used to indicate which task to execute. In Experiments 1 and 2, the participants indicated their readiness for the task switch before they received the target stimulus; thus, each trial was associated with two primary dependent measures: (1) readiness time and (2) target reaction time. Slow readiness responses and instructions emphasizing high readiness were paradoxically accompanied by slow target reaction time. Moreover, the effect of (...) task switching on readiness time was an order of magnitude smaller then the (objectively estimated) duration required for task preparation (Experiment 3). The results strongly suggest that participants have little conscious awareness of their preparedness and challenge commonly accepted assumptions concerning the role of consciousness in cognitive control. (shrink)
The paper is a criticism of the idea that a notion of has a significant role to play in the attempt to understand how the experience of change is possible. Discussion of such experience must give a significant place to its public and private manifestations. How should we picture the relationship between the experience of change and its manifestations? While we cannot identify these, we need not conclude that is something distinct from any of its public or private manifestations. With (...) that, we cannot grasp how time can be present in consciousness without reference to the fact that consciousness is located in time. (shrink)
High figure-ground contrast usually results in more positive evaluations of visual stimuli. This may either reflect that high figure-ground contrast per se is a desirable attribute or that this attribute facilitates fluent processing. In the latter case, the influence of high figure-ground contrast should be most pronounced under short exposure times, that is, under conditions where the facilitative influence on perceptual fluency is most pronounced. Supporting this hypothesis, ratings of the prettiness of visual stimuli increased with figure-ground contrast under short (...) exposure times (.3, 1, and 3 seconds, respectively). This positive influence of figure-ground contrast was eliminated under an exposure time of 10 seconds. We conclude that stimuli with high figure-ground contrast are more appealing because they are easier to process, not because high figure-ground contrast per se is a desirable attribute. We discuss this finding in the context of William James? notion that the fringe of consciousness includes vague contextual feelings at the periphery of the focus of attention and suggest that perceptual fluency is one of these feelings. (shrink)
Undoubtedly, Edmund Husserl's work is one of the most important contributions to the philosophy of the Twentieth Century to the field of culture, specifically influence on the formation of a new psychiatric - psychological paradigm embodied in the phenomenological psychology and psychiatry - existential. Thispaper aims to draw a brief introduction to the issues concerning the constitution originating from the life of the subject as the psychological level of objectivity and intersubjectivity, with emphasis on aspects related to the synthetic processes (...) taking place in the Genesis passive. Highlight how interesting from the notion ofintentionality of consciousness phenomenological analysis husserliano realizes the formation of the conscience of the time, the embodiment of the spatiality and intersubjectivity whose origin lies in the synthetic processes taking place since preyoica instinctive affection in intrauterine life. (shrink)
The reason for the emergence of consciousness of filial piety is that parental care could activate reciprocal filial piety. Parental care and filial piety are two supplementary phenomena caused by the same timeconsciousness. Phenomenology neglects consciousness of filial piety because it lacks the thinking that sees the fundamental “meaning of time” in the intersection of “past” and “future”. The consciousness of filial piety can only be really constituted by a human being’s personal experience. (...) “Frustrations in personal life” and “breeding of children for oneself” are two occasions for an adult to fight against the separating effect of individualized consciousness and regain awareness of filial piety. (shrink)
William James’ Principles of Psychology, in which he made famous the ‘specious present’ doctrine of temporal experience, and Edmund Husserl’s Zur Phänomenologie des inneren Zeitbewusstseins, were giant strides in the philosophical investigation of the temporality of experience. However, an important set of precursors to these works has not been adequately investigated. In this article, we undertake this investigation. Beginning with Reid’s essay ‘Memory’ in Essays on the Intellectual Powers of Man, we trace out a line of development of ideas about (...) the temporality of experience that runs through Dugald Stewart, Thomas Brown, William Hamilton, and finally the work of Shadworth Hodgson and Robert Kelly, both of whom were immediate influences on James (though James pseudonymously cites the latter as ‘E.R. Clay’). Furthermore, we argue that Hodgson, especially his Metaphysic of Experience (1898), was a significant influence on Husserl. (shrink)
This is an excerpt of a report that highlights and explores five questions which arose from The Unity of Consciousness and Sensory Integration conference at Brown University in November of 2011. This portion of the report explores the question: Is the mechanism of sensory integration spatio-temporal?
The presentist view of time is psychologically appealing. I argue that, ironically, contingent facts about the temporal properties of consciousness are very difficult to square with presentism unless some form of mind/body dualism is embraced.