The Now and the Passage of Time

From Physics to Psychology

in KronoScope
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The notion of the “present moment” has intrigued philosophers, physicists, and psychologists alike. Here we review the literature in the physics and the neuropsychology of the “now” in order to connect those two yet unrelated fields. Such a unitary perspective helps us to explain why there cannot be an objective and absolute “now” and why we naïvely tend to believe in a cosmically extended present. In particular, invoking the recent identification in the Cognitive Neurosciences of various temporal integration windows underlying an individual’s temporal experience within physical spacetime enables us to qualify in a more precise way in what sense the now, as frequently claimed by philosophers, is mind-dependent.

The Now and the Passage of Time

From Physics to Psychology

in KronoScope

Sections

References

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Monton (2006) argues that quantum gravity can reintroduce presentism. Wüthrich (2010) offers a convincing criticism of this claim.

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See also Savitt (2006) who uses a different structure to explain the shared character of the present which he takes as a given without taking into consideration natural neural thresholds (or integration windows). Interestingly the claim that “becoming” is a primitive succession of events is compatible with a process view of reality à la Whitehead (1929). The flow is a primitive property of the world but this claim can be reinterpreted with the idea that the succession of events is a process and is a primitive property of the world.

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