time

biological time

Some biological patterns are cyclical and function as clocks, subject to resetting and breakdown. The Circadian rhythms ( the term means approximately daily and was coined by Franz Halberg in 1951) are an examply of biological cycles which are non-linear oscillators, which mesh with day/night cycles. They are subject to entrainment or synchronization because of their time-dependent sensitivity. Exposed to some standard disturbance beginning at different times in the cycle, there will be different phase shifts inflicted. (see Winfree, 1987. p. 12) There is a particular point of vulnerability, where circadian rhythms can break down or become unpredictable when subject to a particular stimulus known as the "critical annihilating stimulus". This arrhythmic center in the pattern of timing is called its "phase singularity

Read More

clock

clock

The clock is a particularly emblematic piece of technology.The invention of the mechanical clock in the thirteenth century inaugurated a new representation of time. For the West, the clock symbolized regularity, predictibility, and control. A clock serves to produce a correspondence between events and vertices of time moments. 

Read More

durée

For Henri Bergson, duration is not an objective mathematical unit, but the subjective perception of space-time. Bergson believed that the conventions of scientific practice were incompatible with lived experience. In his "Essay on the Immediate Data of Consciousness" (1889), Bergson argued that experience viewed as a succession of separate, thinglike states is no less an abstraction from lived consciousness than time as measured by the hands of a clock. Both are fundamentally spatial. Lived consciousness, on the other hand, is a spatiotemporal continuum, "like a mutual penetration, a solidarity, an intimate organization of elements, each of which is representative of the others and neither distinguished from nor isolated by abstracting thought." (see also memory)

For Bergson, we can describe the movement of an object in space, for example, by postulating an infinite number of reference points, through which the object may be said to move. But "they are not parts of the movement; they are so many views taken to it; they are, we say, only supposed stopping points. Never is the mobile reality in any of these points; they most we can say is that it passes through them." Bergson proposed a division of labor between the analytical methods of scientists and the intuitions of the metaphysicians, who would strive for a "true empiricism" that would seek to keep "as close to the original itself as possible."

Read More

hermeneutics

Hermeneutically oriented philosophy aims at deciphering the meaning of Being, the meaning of Being-in-the-world, and its central concept if that of interpretation.

In it broadest sense hermeneutics means "interpretation", but in a more specialized sense, it usually refers to textual interpretation and to reading. Reflection on the practice of interpretation arose in modern European culture as the result of the attempt to understand what had been handed down within that culture from the past.

Interpretation (Auslegung ) is now seen as the explicit, conscious understanding of meanings under conditions where an understanding of those meanings can no longer be presumed to be a self-evident process but is viewed as intrinsically problematic; it is here assumed that misunderstandings about what we seek to interpret will arise not simply occasionally, but systematically. (Paul Connerton, How Societies Remember, p 95)

Read More

intentionality

Franz Brentano called intentionality the property of awareness that is an awareness of something. For Brentano consciousness always has an object. For Heidegger, time is intentional insofar as it is always directed; it is time for___.

Read More

orrery

orrery

An Orrery is a clocklike object which models the movements of the solar system. The orrery is often referred to as the paradigmatic embodiment of the Newtonian "clockwork"universe. Note that the orrery, like Newtonian time, could conceivably rotate in either direction. What was the origin of "clockwise" motion? Should we see it as one of those bifurcations that could equally have gone either way? Newton believed that from time to time the Creator had to interfere in the course of material processes in order to secure the normal progress against disturbances. Leibniz mocked this idea by asking him whether God had produced an imperfect mechanism

Read More

phase beauty

"A flowering spray of lily-of-the-valley exemplifies a growth gradient, after a simple fashion of its own. Along the stalk the growth-rate falls away; the florets are of descending age, from flower to bud; their graded differences of age lead to an exquisite gradation of size and form; the time-interval between one and another, or the "space-time relation" between them all, gives a peculiar beauty -- we may call it phase beauty - to the whole." 

(D'Arcy Thompson On Growth and Form, page unknown, quoted in Lindenmayer and Prusinkiewicz, "Developmental Models of Multicellular Organisms", Artificial Life 2, p.230) 

Read More

real time

The ironic nature of this concept is that real time is human subjective time. When we do not notice lags in communication, calculation, etc., we currently use the expression "in real time". But the reality of this time is simply a function of our motor habits, of the brief but real lags in our sensory systems, in our perceptions and neural activity. 

Read More

science / philosophy

For Ernst Cassirer, the tensions which emerged in the late nineteenth century between philosophy and science were between philosophy's "special task" to "oppose the intellectual division of labor" and the increasing difficulty of that task as a result of the constant increase in the specialization of the sciences. (see The Problem of Knowledge, Introduction)

Whitehead describes science as anti-rationalist (eg. medieval) and based on a naive faith in the relation between brute facts and general principles. Thus it has never cared to justify its faith or explain its meanings and has remained blandly indifferent to its refutation by Hume. For Whitehead in 1925, the stable foundations of physics had broken up and it was time for science to become philosophical and examine its own foundations -- specifically "scientific materialism."

In Order Out of Chaos, Prigogine and Stengers see the origins of modern science in a "resonance" or convergence between theological discourse and theoretical and experimental activity. (p.46) leading to the "mechanized" nature of modern science, that debases nature and glorifies God and man. Subsequently, triumphant classical science could say of God's place in the world system "Je n'ai pas besoin de cette hypothèse." (Laplace to Napoléon)

In What is Philosophy? Deleuze and Guattari characterize some of the differences between science and philosophy. For them, philosophy is "the art of forming, inventing, and fabricating concepts" (p.2), while the object of science is "not concepts but rather functions that are presented as propositions in discursive systems". (p.117) "Philosophy proceeds with a plane of immanence or consistency; science with a plane of reference."

Read More

simple location

"The characteristic common to both space and time is that material can be said to be here in space and here in time, or here in space-time, in a perfectly definite sense which does not require for its explanation any reference to other regions of space-time." (p.49) 

Read More

space vs time

If Newton reduced the physical, objective, universe and Kant the metaphysical, subjective universe to the categories of space and time, Gotthold Ephraim Lessing performed the same service for the intermediate word of signs and artistic media. (Mitchell, p. 96) Lessing established a basic distinction between the spatial arts (such as painting.) and the temporal arts (such as poetry)-- the means or signs one"using forms and colors in space, the other articulate sounds in time." (Laocoön p.78) For Lessing, "These signs must indisputably bear a suitable relation to the thing signified.". Thus the true subjects of painting are bodies, i.e. objects or parts of objects that exist in space, and the true subjects of poetry are actions, that follow one another.

Read More

time and technology

"In its attempt to subdue time's flux by harnassing the future predictably and reliably to the present," technology " tends to 'domesticate' our experience of time." (L. C. Simpson, Technology, Time and the Conversations of Modernity, p.9) For Simpson, "Domestication appears as the will to control." (p.53) "In technology, time is destined to be reified, to be transformed into a commodity." (p.55) Simpson contrasts the time of technology to the time of praxis, which, like repetition, does not seek to annihilate or even domesticate time, but rather to come to terms with it. Other philosophers like Don Ihde and historians of technology like Lynn White, Jr. interpret technologies as embedded in praxis. (see clocks.)

Read More

Time

In a structuralist and anthropological context, human time and history are based on a signifying opposition between synchrony and diachrony. Giorgio Agamben underscores the inverse relationships of play and ritual with respect to time. If ritual serves to fix and structure the calendar, play, on the other hand changes and destroys it. For Agamben, the differential margin between diachrony and synchrony is produced by this system and is called history, or in other words, human time. (Infancy and History, p.75) In La Pensée Sauvage, Levi-Strauss drew the opposition between ritual and play into an exemplary formula: while rites transform events into structures, play transforms structures into events. For Schiller the function of the liberating play impulse is to "abolish time in time", to reconcile being and becoming, change and identity

Read More