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. Michael G. Flaherty: The Textures of Time: Agency and Temporal Experience. [REVIEW]James Aho - 2011 - Human Studies 34 (1):111-113.
  2. 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 (...)
  3. Objective Time and the Experience of Time: Husserl's Theory of Time in Light of Some Theses of A. Einstein's Special Theory of Relativity.Pedro M. S. Alves - 2008 - Husserl Studies 24 (3):205-229.
    In this paper, I start with the opposition between the Husserlian project of a phenomenology of the experience of time, started in 1905, and the mathematical and physical theory of time as it comes out of Einstein’s special theory of relativity in the same year. Although the contrast between the two approaches is apparent, my aim is to show that the original program of Husserl’s time theory is the constitution of an objective time and a time of the world, starting (...)
  4. On the Dilatability of Subjective Time.J. Aschoff - 1992 - Perspectives in Biology and Medicine 35 (2):276-280.
  5. 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 (...)
  6. Death, Pain and Time.Christopher Belshaw - 2000 - Philosophical Studies 97 (3):317-341.
  7. A Specious Puzzle.Ermanno Bencivenga - 1993 - Erkenntnis 38 (1):131 - 133.
  8. Time and Free Will: An Essay on the Immediate Data of Consciousness.Henri Bergson - 1913 - Dover Publications.
    First published in 2002. Routledge is an imprint of Taylor & Francis, an informa company.
  9. Cognition and the Brain: The Philosophy and Neuroscience Movement.Andrew Brook & Kathleen Akins (eds.) - 2005 - Cambridge University Press.
    This volume provides an up to date and comprehensive overview of the philosophy and neuroscience movement, which applies the methods of neuroscience to traditional philosophical problems and uses philosophical methods to illuminate issues in neuroscience. At the heart of the movement is the conviction that basic questions about human cognition, many of which have been studied for millennia, can be answered only by a philosophically sophisticated grasp of neuroscience's insights into the processing of information by the human brain. Essays in (...)
  10. 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.
  11. Mind and Nature: Essays on Time and Subjectivity.J. Brown - 2000 - Whurr Publishers.
    This collection of essays extends the microgenetic theory of the mind/brain state to basic problems in process psychology and philosophy of mind. The author's microtemporal model of brain activity and psychological events, which was originally based on clinical studies of patients with focal brain damage, is here extended to such topics as the concept of the moment in Buddhist philosophy, conscious and unconscious thought, the nature of the self, subjective time and aesthetic perception. The author develops a highly original psychology (...)
  12. There is More to the Phenomenology of Time Than Meets the Eye.Ronald Bruzina - 2000 - In John B. Brough (ed.), The Many Faces of Time. Dordrecht: Kluwer Academic Publishers. pp. 67-84.
  13. The Human Awareness of Time: An Analysis.Robert G. Burton - 1976 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 36 (March):303-318.
  14. Questions of Time and Tense.Jeremy Butterfield - 1998 - Oxford: Clarendon Press.
  15. Seeing the Present.Jeremy Butterfield - 1998 - In Robin Le Poidevin (ed.), Mind. Oxford: Clarendon Press. pp. 161-176.
  16. All Time Preferences?Krister Bykvist - 1999 - Theoria 65 (1):36-54.
  17. Brentano's Analysis of the Consciousness of Time.Roderick M. Chisholm - 1981 - Midwest Studies in Philosophy 6 (1):3-16.
  18. Neurophilosophy and Alzheimer's Disease.Y. Christen & P. S. Churchland (eds.) - 1992 - Springer Verlag.
  19. 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 (...)
  20. James and Husserl: Time-Consciousness and the Intentionality of Presence and Absence.Richard M. Cobb-Stevens - 1998 - In Dan Zahavi (ed.), Self-Awareness, Temporality, and Alterity. Dordrecht: Kluwer Academic Publishers.
  21. 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 (...)
  22. The Phenomenology of Internal Time Consciousness. [REVIEW]A. B. D. - 1964 - Review of Metaphysics 18 (1):177-177.
  23. Time in Experience: Reply to Gallagher.Barry F. Dainton - 2003 - PSYCHE: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Research On Consciousness 9.
    Consciousness exists in time, but time is also to be found within consciousness: we are directly aware of both persistence and change, at least over short intervals. On reflection this can seem baffling. How is it possible for us to be immediately aware of phenomena which are not (strictly speaking) present? What must consciousness be like for this to be possible? In "Stream of Consciousness" I argued that influential accounts of phenomenal temporality along the lines developed by Broad and Husserl (...)
  24. The Human Experience of Time.Rickard Donovan - 1977 - International Philosophical Quarterly 17 (3):350-352.
  25. Russell and the Experience of Time.Elizabeth R. Eames - 1986 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 46 (June):681-682.
  26. The Time Paradox in Perception.Bernard C. Ewer - 1909 - Journal of Philosophy, Psychology and Scientific Methods 6 (6):145-149.
  27. Temporal Precedence.B. A. Farrell - 1972 - Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society 73:193-216.
  28. Consciousness in Time.Donald Ferrari & Melanie Ferrari (eds.) - 2001 - Heidelberg: C Winter University Verlag.
  29. Report on Does It Make Sense to Suppose That All Events, Including Personal Experiences, Could Occur in Reverse?J. N. Findlay - 1956 - Analysis 16 (June):121.
  30. The Mask of Time: The Mystery Factor in Timeslips, Precognition and Hindsight.Joan Forman - 1978 - Macdonald & Jane's.
  31. Mental Presence and the Temporal Present.Georg Franck - 2004 - In Gordon G. Globus, Karl H. Pribram & Giuseppe Vitiello (eds.), Brain and Being: At the Boundary Between Science, Philosophy, Language and Arts. Amsterdam: John Benjamins.
  32. Time, the Familiar Stranger.J. T. Fraser - 1987 - University of Massachusetts Press.
    Looks at the history of the idea of time, the origins of the universe, relativity, life, the brain's perception of time, aging, death, memory, and time keeping ...
  33. The Specious Present.E. J. Furlong - 1953 - Proceedings of the XIth International Congress of Philosophy 7:180-185.
  34. The Inordinance of Time.Shaun Gallagher - 1998 - Northwestern University Press.
    Shaun Gallagher's The Inordinance of Time develops an account of the experience of time at the intersection of three approaches: phenomenology, cognitive ...
  35. Suggestions Towards a Revision of Husserl's Phenomenology of Time-Consciousness.Shaun Gallagher - 1979 - Man and World 12 (4):445-464.
    In this paper I offer four distinct but related suggestions: (1) That Husserl's phenomenology of time-consciousness is an adequate account of the concept of the specious present; (2) That the Querschtfftt o5 momentary phase of consdousness is genuinely only a Querschnittanskht; (3) That retention, primal-impression, and protention are functions of consciousness rather than phases or types o.f coasdousness; (4) That further conceptual clarification and terminological reformulation is needed.
  36. Asymmetry in Attitudes and the Nature of Time.André Gallois - 1994 - Philosophical Studies 76 (1):51-69.
  37. Brain and Being.Gordon G. Globus, Karl H. Pribram & Giuseppe Vitiello (eds.) - 2004 - John Benjamins.
  38. Mahler: Consciousness And Temporality.David B. Greene - 1984 - Gordon & Breach.
  39. How to, and How Not to, Bridge Computational Cognitive Neuroscience and Husserlian Phenomenology of Time Consciousness.Rick Grush - 2006 - Synthese 153 (3):417-450.
    A number of recent attempts to bridge Husserlian phenomenology of time consciousness 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.
  40. 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.
  41. Specious Individuals.Kristin Guyot - 1986 - Philosophica 37.
  42. Intention, Attention and the Temporal Experience of Action.P. Haggard & J. 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. (...)
  43. Time, Consciousness, and Quantum Events in Fundamental Space-Time Geometry.Stuart R. Hameroff - 2003 - In R. Buccheri (ed.), The Nature of Time: Geometry, Physics and Perception. pp. 77-89.
    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 (...)
  44. Thank Goodness It's Over There!C. L. Hardin - 1984 - Philosophy 59 (227):121 - 125.
  45. The Adversaries of the Sceptic or the Specious Present.Alfred Hodder - 1902 - Philosophical Review 11 (1):74-76.
  46. The Adversaries of the Sceptic; or, the Specious Present, a New Inquiry Into Human Knowledge.Alfred Hodder - 1901
  47. Perception of Change and Duration-a Reply.Shadworth H. Hodson - 1900 - Mind 9 (34):240-243.
  48. Review: The Images of Time: An Essay on Temporal Representation, by Robin Le Poidevin. [REVIEW]Christoph Hoerl - 2009 - Mind 118 (470):485-489.
  49. A Note on Gustav Bergmann's Treatment of Temporal Consciousness.Ronald C. Hoy - 1976 - Philosophy of Science 43 (4):610-617.
  50. Science and Temporal Experience: A Critical Defense.Ronald C. Hoy - 1976 - Philosophy Research Archives 1156:646-670.
    Temporal consciousness is philosophically problematic because it appears to have features that cannot be analyzed in a way compatible with the fundamental view of time as a one-dimensional order of events. For example, it seems to be a manifest fact of experience that within a strictly present state of consciousness one can be immediately aware of a succession of events, yet the standard view of time denies that successive events can co-exist, so how can they be given together in a (...)
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