Experience and time

Dissertation, Ucl (2009)
  Copy   BIBTEX

Abstract

We are no less directly acquainted with the temporal structure of the world than with its spatial structure. We hear one word succeeding another; feel two taps as simultaneous; or see the glow of a firework persisting, before it finally fizzles and fades. However, time is special, for we not only experience temporal properties; experience itself is structured in time. Part One articulates a natural framework for thinking about experience in time. I claim (i) that experience in its experiential aspect has a realistically conceived temporal structure; (ii) that our judgements about that structure always go via judgements about the temporal structure of the apparent objects of perception; and (iii) that a subject undergoing perceptual experience of a given experiential kind is always in a position to know that they are undergoing experience of that kind simply in virtue of so undergoing. On this basis, I argue that the temporal structure of experience cannot systematically come apart from the temporal structure of its objects. Part Two treats four puzzles relating to our experience of time. The first is Dennett’s notorious discussion of masking and apparent motion phenomena. The second is the traditional debate regarding the very possibility of perceiving temporal properties. The third is Fara’s recent contention that standard explanations of our experience of slow changes preclude us from perceiving constant motion. A common reaction to these three puzzles is to reject some element of the naïve picture of temporal experience developed in Part One. I resolve them instead by showing how each arises from mistakenly thinking that experience is homoeomerous down to very short durations or instants. That is, thinking that we can analyse experience into a series of independent short slices, and explain the nature of the stream of consciousness in terms of those slices. The final chapter discusses a fourth puzzle about visual motion perception which I diagnose as driven by a rather different, but equally misguided way of thinking about vision.

Links

PhilArchive



    Upload a copy of this work     Papers currently archived: 93,642

External links

  • This entry has no external links. Add one.
Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server

Through your library

Analytics

Added to PP
2009-01-28

Downloads
129 (#36,684)

6 months
129 (#139,668)

Historical graph of downloads
How can I increase my downloads?

Author's Profile

Ian Phillips
Johns Hopkins University

Citations of this work

Experience and time: Transparency and presence.Christoph Hoerl - 2018 - Ergo: An Open Access Journal of Philosophy 5:127-151.
What has episodic memory got to do with space and time?Ian Phillips - forthcoming - In Lynn Nadel & Sara Aronowitz (eds.), Space, Time, and Memory. Oxford University Press.
Experiential holism in time.Philippe Chuard - 2022 - Mind and Language 37 (4):619-637.
XII-Perceiving the Passing of Time.Ian Phillips - 2013 - Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society 113 (3pt3):225-252.

View all 9 citations / Add more citations

References found in this work

Add more references