Re: Time

Date: Fri Aug 24 2001 - 02:19:54 BST

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    Subject: Re: Time
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    On 23 Aug 2001, at 12:42, Dace wrote:

    > From: <>
    > > > > 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 spatial 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 never 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.
    And WHERE would that which existed within a spaceless time
    exist? That's the same unanswerable question as the question of
    WHEN that which existed within a timeless space would exist.
    Existence requires both extension and duration. Neither an
    instantaneous nor an infinitesimal entity can lay claim to
    existence. The weakness of words is that they can be put
    together or taken apart in physically impossible ways, that is,
    ways in which it is physically impossible that there could be
    referents for their conjunction or disjunction. Language is
    extravagant with respect to reality; in order to be capable of
    representing reality, it must have the capacity to also trangress
    and supercede it.
    > 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.
    In other words, he's basing his fantasy upon that which he does not
    understand, in a manner in which it cannot be, but which can be
    stated in referentless yet coool-sounding word webs, just like those
    who follow him.
    > Ted
    > ===============================================================
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