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Everywhere and EverywhenAdventures in Physics and Philosophy$
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Nick Huggett

Print publication date: 2010

Print ISBN-13: 9780195379518

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2010

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195379518.001.0001

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Time and Tralfamadore

Time and Tralfamadore

Chapter:
(p.116) 11 Time and Tralfamadore
Source:
Everywhere and Everywhen
Author(s):

Nick Huggett (Contributor Webpage)

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195379518.003.0011

These chapters investigate time, especially comparing the dimensions of time space. Many intuit that the two are fundamentally different, for instance because time ‘flows’ and space does not. While our conscious experiences seem to support this asymmetry, physics doesn't: for instance, there is no ‘moving’ present, just all of time and all of space forming a ‘block’ universe. Chapter 10 explores these notions, and explicates a famous argument by McTaggart against the moving present. It argues that a source of asymmetries in experience are visual motion detectors in the brain, sensitive to variation in time but not space: experience shows something about us not time. Through a discussion of Vonnegut's Tralfamadorians, Chapter 11 investigates a further asymmetry of experience: consciousness is a sequence of experiences of things extended in space not time. This asymmetry is linked, not to a difference between space and time, but to the physical construction of our minds.

Keywords:   time, McTaggart, block universe, present, visual motion detection, arrow of time, Experience

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