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Mon, 06 Feb



Julian Bacharach (Antwerp) On the Very Idea of a Temporal Perspective

Time & Location

06 Feb 2023, 16:00 – 07 Feb 2023, 17:30

London, Senate House, London WC1B, UK


We live in time. It is not just that all our thoughts, actions and experiences happen at some particular point in time. Rather, our perspective on the world is always from some particular temporal point of view. But how exactly should we understand the notion of a temporal perspective? and how, if at all, does the perspectival character of our experience of time manifest itself? In this paper I argue, first, that sense experience is not manifestly temporally perspectival: although it is true that what we perceive depends on the time of the perceiving, nothing in the manifest character of the experience reflects this dependence. We therefore need to look beyond sense experience to find a foothold for the idea of a temporal perspective. I suggest that we can do so in the complex phenomenology of episodic memory, specifically in the structure of layered affect that is characteristic of many personal memories. Finally, I discuss some consequences of the procedure and picture developed here for how to interpret metaphysical controversies over the reality of tense.

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