Continuous and Discrete Time: Scientific Possibilities

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  • 1 Philosophy Department, San Francisco State University, San Francisco, CA 94132, USA


This paper presents a philosophical and scientifically informed assessment of the continuity of time. It provides experimental evidence for the continuity of psychological time and evaluates the view that physical and psychological time may be continuous. It then offers a potential problem for the continuity of physical time, which adds plausibility to the possibility that only psychological time is continuous. The main contributions of the paper are that it provides an adequate and up to date interpretation of traditional philosophical views concerning the continuity of time, and that it argues for a reliabilist account of the epistemology of the mathematical continuum.

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  • 8

    See Montemayor, C. (2010) for a characterization of this sense of psychological time (motor-intentional time).

  • 9

    See Montemayor, C. and Balci, F. (2007) for compositional rules regarding this format of mental representation.

  • 12

    See Church, R. M. and Gibbon, J. (1982) for the proposal of the accumulator model.

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    See for example Feynman, R. (1977) for how fundamental laws of physics can be expressed in terms of a principle of least action, particularly section 19-7.

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