Temporal Experience

Edited by Ian Phillips (University of Birmingham, Princeton University)
About this topic
Summary We perceive movement, change, and the succession and durations of events. We are constantly aware of the flow of our thoughts. Philosophers have long struggled to provide a coherent and unified account of these temporal aspects of experience. Some have simply denied that we do enjoy temporal experience. Most have sought to explain how such experience is possible, commonly by appeal to memory, or to the contested notion of the specious present. The answers to these questions have been thought important to questions concerning self-knowledge, the nature of perceptual experience in general, and the metaphysics of time.
Key works The most important early modern discussions of temporal experience are in Locke 1689, especially chapter XIV, and Reid 2011, essay III 'Of Memory'. James 1890, chapter XV, is a landmark discussion of time perception from both a philosophical and scientific perspective. A number of important philosophical discussions appeared in the decades following James, most saliently Broad 1923 and Husserl 1991. Recent interest in these issues has been reignited by, amongst others, Dainton 2000. Dennett & Kinsbourne 1992 is a provocative and important contribution making connections with empirical work.
Introductions The following recent papers/books contain broad treatments of some of central philosophical issues: (1) Dainton 2010. Also: Dainton 2008 and Dainton 2000, part two; (2) Le Poidevin 2007. Also: Le Poidevin 2008; (3) Gallagher 1998; (4) Kelly 2005; (5) Phillips 2010. A nice survey of historical work in the area is Andersen & Grush 2009.
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  1. Zukunftsbewusstsein. Grundriss einer Phänomenologie der Erwartung.Mario Schärli - 2018 - In Emil Angehrn & Joachim Küchenhoff (eds.), Erwartung. Zukunft zwischen Furcht und Hoffnung. Weilerswist, Deutschland: pp. 35–64.
  2. How Natural is a Unified Notion of Time? Temporal Experience in Early Greek Thought.Barbara Michaela Sattler - 2017 - In I. Philips (ed.), The Routledge Handbook of Philosophy of Temporal Experience: Routledge Handbooks in Philosophy. Routledge.
  3. Bill Viola’s 'Nantes Triptych': Unearthing the Sources of its Condensed Temporality.Carlos Vara Sánchez - 2014 - Aniki: Portuguese Journal of the Moving Image 2 (1):35-48.
    In this text we intend to analyze Bill Viola’s video installation Nantes Triptych (1992) as an example of the richness which lies in the liminal spaces between arts. We defend the thesis that the utilization of the traditional pictorial structure of the triptych in this particular work, along with the powerful audiovisual material, renders a kairological event available to the viewer. This temporal experience makes possible an existential experience when in front of this video installation. To discuss this assumption we (...)
  4. The Specious Present.E. J. Furlong - 1953 - Proceedings of the XIth International Congress of Philosophy 7:180-185.
  5. Locke and the Specious Present.Douglas Odegard - 1978 - Canadian Journal of Philosophy 8 (sup1):141-151.
  6. Other Times: Philosophical Perspectives on Past, Present and Future.David Cockburn - 1997 - Cambridge University Press.
    We view things from a certain position in time: in our language, thought, feelings and actions, we draw distinctions between what has happened, is happening, and will happen. Frequently, approaches to this feature of our lives - those seen in disputes between tensed and tenseless theories, between realist and anti-realist treatments of past and future, and in accounts of historical knowledge - embody serious misunderstandings of the character of the issues; they misconstrue the relation between metaphysics and ethics, and the (...)
  7. The Future of the Philosophy of Time.Adrian Bardon (ed.) - 2011 - Routledge.
    The last century has seen enormous progress in our understanding of time. This volume features original essays by the foremost philosophers of time discussing the goals and methodology of the philosophy of time, and examining the best way to move forward with regard to the field's core issues. The collection is unique in combining cutting edge work on time with a focus on the big picture of time studies as a discipline. The major questions asked include: What are the implications (...)
  8. The Routledge Handbook of Philosophy of Temporal Experience: Routledge Handbooks in Philosophy.Ian Phillips (ed.) - 2017 - Routledge.
    Experience is inescapably temporal. But how do we experience time? Temporal experience is a fundamental subject in philosophy – according to Husserl, the most important and difficult of all. Its puzzles and paradoxes were of critical interest from the Early Moderns through to the Post-Kantians. After a period of relative neglect, temporal experience is again at the forefront of debates across a wealth of areas, from philosophy of mind and psychology, to metaphysics and aesthetics. The Routledge Handbook of Philosophy of (...)
  9. Temporal Conflict in the Reading Experience.Cathrine Kietz - 2015 - In Frederik Stjernfelt & Peer F. Bundgaard (eds.), Investigations Into the Phenomenology and the Ontology of the Work of Art. Springer Verlag.
  10. The Illusion of the Experience of the Passage of Time.Gal Yehezkel - 2013 - Disputatio 5 (35):67-80.
    Supporters of the A-theory of time sometimes refer to an alleged experience of the passage of time in support of their theory. In this paper I argue that it is an illusion that we experience the passage of time, for such an experience is impossible. My argument relies on the general assertion that experience is contingent, in the sense that if it is possible to experience the passage of time, it is also possible to experience that time does not pass. (...)
  11. The Adversaries of the Sceptic; or, the Specious Present, a New Inquiry Into Human Knowledge.Alfred Hodder - 1901
  12. The Temporal Character of Experience in the Philosophy of A. N. Whitehead.Jean-Paul M. Marchand - 1974 - Dissertation, Fordham University
  13. Experience of the World in Time.Alva NoË - 2006 - Analysis 66 (1):26-32.
  14. The Making of Art Through the Unfolding of Time.Laurie Mareta Sanda - 2004 - Dissertation, Texas Woman's University
    The purpose of this interdisciplinary study is to investigate the temporal experience of artists during the conception and generation of artworks. ;The hybrid methodology of this qualitative study establishes a philosophical framework to integrate ideas from philosophy, psychology, physics, neurobiology, and the arts. Phenomenological language illustrates the philosophical line of reasoning throughout. ;Two composers, three choreographers, two visual artists, one novelist, and one fashion designer were interviewed through a series of open-ended questions. ;Chapter I initiates discussion of the 'now' moment (...)
  15. Locke and the Specious Present.Douglas Odegard - 1978 - Canadian Journal of Philosophy, Supplementary Volume 4:141.
  16. The Adversaries of the Sceptic or the Specious Present.Alfred Hodder - 1902 - Philosophical Review 11 (1):74-76.
  17. The Specious Present and Bi-Directional Time in Woolf's To The Lighthouse.Eric Levy - 2006 - Literature & Aesthetics 16 (2):45-74.
  18. Naturalizing Phenomenology: Issues in Contemporary Phenomenology and Cognitive Science.Jean Petitot, Francisco Varela, Bernard Pachoud & Jean-Michel Roy (eds.) - 1999 - Stanford University Press.
  19. How Philosophical Models Explain Time Consciousness.Bruno Mölder - 2014 - Procedia – Social and Behavioral Sciences 126:48-57.
    This paper analyses explanations provided by current philosophical models of time consciousness. These models attempt to explain temporal experience by describing the mechanisms of time consciousness in experiential terms. I criticize this practice on two grounds; firstly, it relies upon folk notions that have no clear individuation conditions and secondly because it often merely names, but does not explain the phenomena.
  20. Constructing Time: Dennett and Grush on Temporal Representation.Bruno Mölder - 2014 - In Valtteri Arstila & Dan Lloyd (eds.), Subjective Time: Philosophy, Psychology and Neuroscience of Temporality. MIT Press. pp. 217-238.
  21. Experience of and in Time.Ian Phillips - 2014 - Philosophy Compass 9 (2):131-144.
    How must experience of time be structured in time? In particular, does the following principle, which I will call inheritance, hold: for any temporal property apparently presented in perceptual experience, experience itself has that same temporal property. For instance, if I hear Paul McCartney singing ‘Hey Jude’, must my auditory experience of the ‘Hey’ itself precede my auditory experience of the ‘Jude’, or can the temporal order of these experiences come apart from the order the words are experienced as having? (...)
  22. Temporal Experience.Jenann Ismael - 2011 - In Craig Callender (ed.), The Oxford Handbook of Philosophy of Time. Oxford University Press.
  23. On the Dilatability of Subjective Time.J. Aschoff - 1992 - Perspectives in Biology and Medicine 35 (2):276-280.
  24. Experience, Thought, and the Metaphysics of Time.Simon Prosser - 2013 - In Kasia M. Jaszczolt & Louis de Saussure (eds.), Time: Language, Cognition & Reality. Oxford University Press. pp. 1--157.
    In this chapter I argue that there can be no mental representation of objective ‘tensed’ features of reality of the kind that might be thought to occur when we experience time passing or think of times as past, present or future, whether or not such features are part of mind-independent reality. This, I hold, has important consequences for metaphysics; but (as will be most relevant to this volume) it is also likely to have important consequences for a correct semantics for (...)
  25. William James and the Specious Present.David L. Miller - 1976 - In Walter Robert Corti (ed.), The Philosophy of William James. Meiner. pp. 51--79.
  26. Brain Time and Phenomenological Time.Rick Grush - 2005 - In Andrew Brook & Kathleen Akins (eds.), Cognition and the Brain: The Philosophy and Neuroscience Movement. Cambridge University Press. pp. 160.
    ... there are cases in which on the basis of a temporally extended content of consciousness a unitary apprehension takes place which is spread out over a temporal interval (the so-called specious present). ... That several successive tones yield a melody is possible only in this way, that the succession of psychical processes are united "forthwith" in a common structure.
  27. Can Complex Temporal Patterns Be Automatized?Robert F. Port - 1991 - Behavioral and Brain Sciences 14 (4):762-764.
  28. Somewhere in Time – Temporal Factors in Vertebrate Movement Analysis.Melvin Lyon - 1992 - Behavioral and Brain Sciences 15 (2):282-283.
  29. Evenki Shamanistic Practices in Soviet Present and Ethnographic Present Perfect.Nikolai Ssorin‐Chaikov - 2001 - Anthropology of Consciousness 12 (1):1-18.
  30. Figuring the Porous Self: St. Augustine and the Phenomenology of Temporality.Joseph Rivera - 2013 - Modern Theology 29 (1):83-103.
    This article examines the phenomenological structures of the homo temporalis filtered through Augustine's illuminating, if unsystematic, insights on temporality and the imago Dei. It situates such a phenomenological interpretation of the Augustinian self in view of current interpretations that polarize or split the Augustinian self into an either/or scheme—either an “interior” self or an “exterior” self. Given this imbalance, the article suggests that a phenomenological evaluation of Augustine brings to light how interior and exterior spheres are deeply integrated. The article (...)
  31. Specious Individuals.Kristin Guyot - 1986 - Philosophica 37.
  32. The Phenomenology of Internal Time Consciousness. [REVIEW]A. B. D. - 1964 - Review of Metaphysics 18 (1):177-177.
  33. Temporal Experiences and Their Parts.Philippe Chuard - 2011 - Philosophers' Imprint 11.
    The paper develops an objection to the extensional model of time consciousness—the view that temporally extended events or processes, and their temporal properties, can be directly perceived as such. Importantly, following James, advocates of the extensional model typically insist that whole experiences of temporal relations between non-simultaneous events are distinct from mere successions of their temporal parts. This means, presumably, that there ought to be some feature(s) differentiating the former from the latter. I try to show why the extensional models (...)
  34. Time, Mode and Perceptual Content.Jan Almäng - 2012 - Acta Analytica 27 (4):425-439.
    Francois Recanati has recently argued that each perceptual state has two distinct kinds of content, complete and explicit content. According to Recanati, the former is a function of the latter and the psychological mode of perception. Furthermore, he has argued that explicit content is temporally neutral and that time-consciousness is a feature of psychological mode. In this paper it is argued, pace Recanati, that explicit content is not temporally neutral. Recanati’s position is initially presented. Three desiderata for a theory of (...)
  35. A Risky Business: Internal Time and Objective Time in Husserl and Woolf.Ralph Strehle - 2006 - In David Rudrum (ed.), Literature and Philosophy: A Guide to Contemporary Debates. Palgrave-Macmillan.
  36. Michael G. Flaherty: The Textures of Time: Agency and Temporal Experience. [REVIEW]James Aho - 2011 - Human Studies 34 (1):111-113.
  37. The Human Experience of Time.Rickard Donovan - 1977 - International Philosophical Quarterly 17 (3):350-352.
  38. Phenomenal Time and its Biological Correlates.Ram L. P. Vimal & Christopher J. Davia - 2010 - Journal of Consciousness Exploration and Research 1 (5):560-572.
    Our goal is to investigate the biological correlates of the first-person experience of time or phenomenal time. ‘Time’ differs in various domains, such as (i) physical time (e.g., clock time), (ii) biological time, such as the suprachiasmatic nucleus, and (iii) the perceptual rate of time. One psychophysical-measure of the perceptual rate is the critical flicker frequency (CFF), in which a flashing light is perceived as unchanging. Focusing on the inability to detect change, as in CFF, may give us insight into (...)
  39. Whitehead & the Elusive Present: Process Philosophy's Creative Core.Gregory M. Nixon - 2010 - Journal of Consciousness Exploration and Research 1 (5):625-639.
    Time’s arrow is necessary for progress from a past that has already happened to a future that is only potential until creatively determined in the present. But time’s arrow is unnecessary in Einstein’s so-called block universe, so there is no creative unfolding in an actual present. How can there be an actual present when there is no universal moment of simultaneity? Events in various places will have different presents according to the position, velocity, and nature of the perceiver. Standing against (...)
  40. The Presence of Experience and Two Theses About Time.Franklin C. Mason - 1997 - Southern Journal of Philosophy 35 (1):75-89.
  41. Presentism, Ontology and Temporal Experience.L. Nathan Oaklander - 2002 - Royal Institute of Philosophy Supplement 50:73-90.
  42. Review: The Images of Time: An Essay on Temporal Representation, by Robin Le Poidevin. [REVIEW]Christoph Hoerl - 2009 - Mind 118 (470):485-489.
  43. All Time Preferences?Krister Bykvist - 1999 - Theoria 65 (1):36-54.
  44. Inner (Time-)Consciousness.Dan Zahavi - 2010 - In D. Lohmar & I. Yamaguchi (eds.), On Time - New Contributions to the Husserlian Phenomenology of Time. Springer. pp. 319-339.
    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.
  45. Intention, Attention and the Temporal Experience of Action.Patrick Haggard & Jonathan Cole - 2007 - Consciousness and Cognition 16 (2):211-220.
    Subjects estimated the time of intentions to perform an action, of the action itself, or of an auditory effect of the action. A perceptual attraction or binding effect occurred between actions and the effects that followed them. Judgements of intentions did not show this binding, suggesting they are represented independently of actions and their effects. In additional unpredictable judgement conditions, subjects were instructed only after each trial which of these events to judge, thus discouraging focussed attention to a specific event. (...)
  46. Editorial: Time & Experience: Twins of the Eternal Now?Gregory M. Nixon - 2010 - Journal of Consciousness Exploration and Research 1 (5):482-489.
    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, (...)
  47. Thank Goodness It's Over There!C. L. Hardin - 1984 - Philosophy 59 (227):121 - 125.
  48. Brentano's Analysis of the Consciousness of Time.Roderick M. Chisholm - 1981 - Midwest Studies in Philosophy 6 (1):3-16.
  49. The Importance of Time: Proceedings of the Philosophy of Time Society, 1995-2000.John Perry - 2001 - Dordrecht: Kluwer Academic.
  50. The Many Faces of Time.John B. Brough (ed.) - 2000 - Dordrecht: Kluwer Academic.
    The authors of the essays collected in this volume continue that tradition, challenging, expanding, and deepening it.
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