The Problem of Temporal Grain: Experiencing Time Across the Senses
Keith Wilson (University of Oslo), Keith A. Wilson (University of Glasgow)

part of: The Character of Temporal Experience
June 11, 2022, 11:15am - 12:45pm
Department of Philosophy, University of Geneva

Bd des Philosophes 22, 1205 Genève

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University of Warwick
University of Geneva
University of Geneva
Università degli Studi di Milano

Topic areas


Time seems to be a pervasive aspect of our experience of reality. We see the things around us changing over time or persisting unchanged. We hear sounds succeeding one another, with varying duration and frequency. We think of events as present, past, or future and, depending on how we think of them, we find different emotional reactions appropriate, and different courses of action fitting. This conference aims to investigate the character of our experience of time, broadly construed to include any time-sensitive or time-directed aspect of perception, thinking, agency, and emotions. Relevant questions include, but are not limited to, the following:

- How do we perceive events in time? Is there some kind of correspondence between the temporal structure of an experience and that of its representational content?

- Is perceptual experience temporally perspectival? Does it ‘privilege’ the present over the past and the future? Does it involve a phenomenology of ‘flow’ or ‘passage’?

- Is empirical thinking essentially involved with ‘tensed’ contents? Are ‘tensed’ contents indispensable to the explanation and rationalization of timely action?

- Is there an inherently rational way for our emotions to evolve through time? What conception of time is implicit in, or presupposed by, time-directed emotions such as hope, regret, or relief?

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