Re: The meaning of time

GB (
Sat, 07 Jun 97 10:16:13 PDT

Hi Esteban-

Thanks for your post about time.

I have no special wisdom here, but I can offer you a beginning comment from
a 'linguistic constructivist,' me.

For me, 'time' is a distinction, in language, which the people in some
cultures use in one way, and those in another use in a different way. For
example, some have no thought of any future, and some do; and so on.
Anthropological research would, no doubt, be a good way for you to proceed

As to the phenomenon denoted by the distinction, I can only say that, as an
observer, I observe that all things I have observed, at this macro level of
'life,' change, in that they are in some way different today than they were
before today, if only minutely.

I also acknowledge that all of this is a result of my interpretations,
which may be grounded or not grounded, and hence more or less valid to the
phenomenon being observed.

I also oserve that often we use the distinction, 'time,'
purely as a conversational metaphor, as in: 'all in due time,' and in
related ways, especially poetically, etc.

Well, that's all I can see to say for now. I look forward to seeing what
others on the list have to say, and to your reactions.

Sincerely, Gary B., Philadelphia
> Hi all
> I apologize if this is quite out of the regular thematic agenda; it's
> surely a more metaphysical than psychologycal question. But I remember a
> recent discussion about <reality> and how should we, as constructivists,
> understand it. (I guess our question was <what should <reality> mean in
> regular discourse?>, not <what _is_ <reality>?) I'd like to take a look at
> my metaphysical assumptions.
> My question is: what do we mean when talking about _time_?
> I have something in mind. We talk about _the_ past, not the past _events_;
> and _the_ past is a far more comprehensive construct that _the things that
> already had been_. Are we using a construct based on _what we can
> against _what we cannot remember_? Or is it _what is likely to have been
> (because it would explain the things we see now) _ vs. _what is
> unbelievable to have happened_?
> These are only vague ideas. I would like to get your answers to throw
> lights on the subject. (It's a very dark and cloudy one, I know!)
> Thanks,
> Esteban Laso