Disseminating Time: Durations, Configurations, and Chance

In: Research in Phenomenology
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  • 1 University of Oregon

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This essay addresses time’s dissemination both in the sense of an undoing or fracturing of unifying conceptions of time, as well as in the sense of ‘scattering seeds’ by conceiving of manifold temporalizing configurations of living beings, things, and events without an overarching sense of time. After a consideration of traditional conceptions of time, this essay explores the notion of duration in Bergson in order to make it fruitful for thinking duration without centering it in human consciousness. The author suggests that we can begin to think the temporal happening of things and events in terms of different temporal configurations of various degrees and qualities of complexity that may be occasioned by chance, whereby chance is understood as the freeing of time-spaces of indeterminacy in which temporal configurations take shape or manifest themselves.

  • 2

    David Wood, Time After Time (Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 2007), 9.

  • 8

    Hans-Georg Gadamer, “Die Zeitanschauung des Abendlandes,” in Gesammelte Werke, vol. 4 (Tübingen: Mohr 1987), 119–136. See especially 122.

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  • 10

    Henri Bergson, Essai sur les données immédiates de la conscience (Paris: Quadrige, 1927), 75; Time and Free Will: Essay on the Immediate Data of Consciousness, trans. F. L. Pogson (Mineola: Dover, 2001), 101. Henceforth tfw, followed first by the English and then by the French pagination.

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  • 18

    Henri Bergson, Matière et Mémoire: Essai sur la relation du corps à l’esprit (Paris: Presses Universitaires de France, 1939), 20, 24, 39; Matter and Memory, trans. Nancy Margaret Paul and W. Scott Palmer (New York: Zone Books, 1991), 34, 42, 69. Henceforth cited as mm, followed first by the English and then by the French pagination.

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  • 21

    John Sallis, Force of Imagination: The Sense of the Elemental (Bloomington & Indianapolis: Indiana University Press, 2000).

  • 22

    Sallis, Force of Imagination, 191.

  • 23

    Sallis, Force of Imagination, 144.

  • 24

    Maurice Merleau-Ponty, The Visible and the Invisible (Evanston: Northwestern University Press, 1968), 260. French edition: Le visible et l’invisible (Paris: Gallimard, 1964), 314.

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  • 25

    Sallis, Force of Imagination, 190.

  • 27

    J. von Uexküll, Umwelt und Innenwelt der Tiere (Berlin: Springer, 1909) and Streifzüge durch die Umwelten on Tieren und Menschen—Ein Bilderbuch unsichtbarer Welten (Berlin: Springer, 1932).

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  • 30

    Emile Benveniste, “The Notion of Rhythm in its Linguistic Expression,” in Problems in General Linguistics, trans. Mary E. Meek (Coral Gables: University of Miami Press, 1971), 285.

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  • 31

    Benveniste, “The Notion of Rhythm,” 286.

  • 32

    Wood, Time After Time, 26.

  • 35

    Wood, Time After Time, 27.

  • 37

    Sallis, Force of Imagination, 194.

  • 41

    Cage, Silence, 94.

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