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Time and Eternity in Mid-Thirteenth-Century Thought$
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Rory Fox

Print publication date: 2006

Print ISBN-13: 9780199285754

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2006

DOI: 10.1093/0199285756.001.0001

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The Reality of Time

The Reality of Time

(p.165) 5 The Reality of Time
Time and Eternity in Mid-Thirteenth-Century Thought

Rory Fox

Oxford University Press

This chapter examines the question of whether 13th century thinkers viewed time as having its own existence in reality, or whether they considered it to have an existence which depended upon a mind. It is argued that an ambiguity exists at the heart of their thoughts on this matter; an ambiguity which sometimes expressed itself in affirmations that stressed the mind-independence of time, and yet at other times, seemed to imply a limited role for a mind. The two areas where this ambiguity becomes visible are: when they were considering the question of whether time exists in the present instant, and in relation to their views about the reality of temporal becoming.

Keywords:   reality of time, Aristotle, mind-dependence, temporal becoming, 13th century

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