Re: Dreaming On

From: Brent Meeker <>
Date: Tue, 01 Sep 2009 16:27:09 -0700

David Nyman wrote:
> 2009/9/1 Brent Meeker <>:
>> There's something going on, but I don't know why you would suppose it's
>> not analyzable in terms of physics.
> Well, what I would say is that the temporal psychology of the specious
> present is very odd in the face of either the flux or block view of
> time in physics. Introspection convinces us (me anyway) that there is
> some psychologically significant duration beyond the momentary that is
> indispensable to sensory experience (think of how we grasp melodies as
> opposed to pitch). On a physical analysis of the brain, we clearly
> cannot argue under the flux approach for any influence that isn't
> actually present within any given moment as having any relevance to
> experiential content, so we're forced to assume some sort of
> physically-structured 'temporal' encapsulation of multiple snapshots,
> of more than momentary total duration, that relies on the
> incorporation of memory of what's just past.
> And yet it seems clear nonetheless that there is the experience of
> change *within* such capsules. And if we argue that this change isn't
> within the capsule, we would have to believe in some integration of
> successive capsules through time, and then we're either appealing to
> data that's no longer accessible at the time it's supposed to be
> efficacious, or we've flipped into a block view. So it seems like
> there's something missing in our conception of how experiential time
> could translate from the physical to the psychological and vice versa,
> because it seems we can't help appealing to both quasi-flux and
> quasi-block models to save the appearances.

Bertrand Russell wrote a paper in which he took short durations,
"moments", as basic and showed that the time of physics could be derived
from the overlap of moments.


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Received on Tue Sep 01 2009 - 16:27:09 PDT

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