Experience and time: Transparency and presence

Christoph Hoerl
University of Warwick
Philosophers frequently comment on the intimate connection there is between something’s being present in perceptual experience and that thing’s being, or at least appearing to be, temporally present. Yet, there is relatively little existing work that goes beyond asserting such a connection and instead examines its specific nature. In this paper, I suggest that we can make progress on the latter by looking at two more specific debates that have hitherto been conducted largely isolation from each other: one about the nature of conscious experience and one about the nature of time itself. The first concerns the extent to which the temporal properties of experience form an exception to the transparency of experience, meaning that introspection can provide support for one particular view of how experience itself is structured temporally; the second concerns the question as to whether there is something about experience that gives us grounds for thinking that the present is somehow metaphysically special. As I argue, the idea of a connection between experiential presence and temporal presence plays a key background role in each of these debates. Yet it can also, in each of them, be seen to draw one side towards making claims that are supposed to express an important truth but are at the same time, on the face of it, self-contradictory. In each case, resolving what it actually is that these claims are trying to get at turns on recognizing a distinctive feature of perceptual experience, which I refer to as its lack of temporal viewpointedness. Recognising this feature also helps in making sense of what the issues at stake actually are in the intuition of an intimate connection between experiential presence and temporal presence.
Keywords Temporal experience  Transparency  Metaphysics of time  Philosophy of perception
Categories (categorize this paper)
Reprint years 2018
DOI 10.3998/ergo.12405314.0005.005>
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Request removal from index
Revision history

Download options

Our Archive

Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy     Papers currently archived: 35,457
Through your library

References found in this work BETA

No references found.

Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

No citations found.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles

Relative and Absolute Presence.Sean Enda Power - 2016 - In B. Mölder, V. Arstila & P. Øhrstrøm (eds.), Philosophy and Psychology of Time. Springer. pp. 69-100.
The Experience of Temporal Passage.Akiko M. Frischhut - 2013 - Dissertation, University of Geneva
Diachronic Unity and Temporal Transparency.Akiko M. Frischhut - 2014 - Journal of Consciousness Studies 21 (7-8):34-55.
Sensuous Experience, Phenomenal Presence, and Perceptual Availability.Christopher Frey - 2015 - International Journal of Philosophical Studies 23 (2):237-254.
Do We (Seem to) Perceive Passage?Christoph Hoerl - 2014 - Philosophical Explorations 17 (2):188-202.
A Tenseless Account of the Presence of Experience.J. M. Mozersky - 2006 - Philosophical Studies 129 (3):441-476.
Time and Tense in Perceptual Experience.Christoph Hoerl - 2009 - Philosophers' Imprint 9:1-18.
Experience of and in Time.Ian Phillips - 2014 - Philosophy Compass 9 (2):131-144.
Qualia, Introspection, and Transparency.Renee Janelle Smith - 2002 - Dissertation, University of Colorado at Boulder
Varieties of Presence.Alva Noë - 2012 - Harvard University Press.


Added to PP index

Total downloads
76 ( #84,654 of 2,285,039 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
18 ( #23,874 of 2,285,039 )

How can I increase my downloads?

Monthly downloads

My notes

Sign in to use this feature