Re: Time

From: Dace (
Date: Thu Aug 23 2001 - 20:42:16 BST

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    Subject: Re: Time
    Date: Thu, 23 Aug 2001 12:42:16 -0700
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    > > > Bergson also wrote a 'refutation' of
    > > > Einstein's relativity theory called DURATION AND SIMULTANEITY;
    > > > it is so horribly flawed as to be embarassing - which should tell
    > > > you how much credence should be placed in his views on temporality.
    > >
    > > I haven't read this book, though I will shortly. My understanding is
    > > that Bergson never claimed to refute Einstein's theories. He merely
    > > pointed out that "space-time" is not the same as time itself.
    > > Einstein was looking at time from the external point of view, that is,
    > > from the point of view of space. Bergson approaches it intrinsically,
    > > as a thing-in-itself.
    > >
    > No, for human consciousness, spatiotemporality is a single
    > perceptual manifold. People, including Kant, have illegitimately
    > bifurcated this manifold into the abstract ideal concepts 'space' and
    > 'time', but they cannot point to any referents for such terms. In
    > other words, we use the words, but we cannot perceive, or even
    > imagine the perception of, either spaceless time or timeless space.
    > The reason the mistake was made was simple inattention; the term
    > 'space; was abstracted from the visual modality and the term 'time'
    > was abstracted from the auditoy modality because the abstractors
    > failed to notince that even though these senses grasp the manifold
    > in differing ways, with the spatial aspect predominating in vision
    > and the temporal aspect predominating in audition, that actually
    > both 'space' and 'time' are present inn both modalities, and in our
    > most basic perceptual modality, taction, 'they' are equipresent. Let
    > us reduce this error to the absurdity it deserves by asuming it to be
    > true, then showing how such an assumption mires us irretrieveably
    > in contradiction. First, we shall assume a spaceless time, and
    > then we shall assume a timeless space.
    > 1) A spaceless time must be infinitesimal, that is, it must lack the
    > three spatial dimensions. But worldly and somatic consciousness,
    > as well as imagination, are perspectival; that is, they observe their
    > objects from positions which are not identical with those of their
    > objects.To perform such an observation, even imaginatively, is to
    > establish two points, that of observer and that of the observed,
    > which define a line, a spatial dimension. Contradiction: premise
    > disproved by reductio ad absurdum.
    > 2) A timeless space space must be instantaneous, that is, it must
    > lack duration. But the establishment of a spatiol perspective
    > requires presence to succeed absence, and the presence of the
    > observer to the observed entails their simultaneous co-presence
    > (note). Succession and simultaneity are temporal distinctions.
    > Contradiction: premise disproven by reductio ad absurdum.
    > Begson vever grasped this; Einstein did.
    > (note: it does no good here to say that we see dead stars; the light
    > we perceive from them is co-present with us).

    There's no timeless space because nothing can exist unless it *comes into*
    existence. But just because nothing could be described within a spaceless
    time doesn't mean it doesn't exist. Anything which exists intrinsically is,
    by definition, absolute and metaphysical. It will be devoid of relativity
    or perspective.

    But Sheldrake avoids all this by simply leaving such metaphysical questions
    open. Demonstrating the effects of past forms on current form doesn't
    necessitate explaining the nature of time itself.


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