<metaphysics, ontology, gnoseology, philosophy of science> temporal duration. Philosophers have traditionally addressed such questions as: whether time is an independent feature of reality or merely an aspect of our experience; whether or not it makes sense to think of time as having had a beginning; why time is directional and the past and future are asymmetrical; whether time flows continuously or is composed of discrete moments; and whether there is absolute time in addition to relations of temporal succession. The Eleatics developed general arguments to show that time and motion are impossible, and Augustine employed the analysis of time to explain human freedom in the face of divine power. Leibniz maintained that time is nothing more than temporal relations, Newton and Clarke defended its absolute character, and Kant tried to mediate by regarding space and time as pure forms of sensible intuition. Later idealists commonly followed McTaggart in denying the reality of time. Recommended Reading: The New Theory of Time, ed. by L. Nathan Oaklander and Quentin Smith (Yale, 1994); Martin Heidegger, History of the Concept of Time, tr. by Theodore Kisiel (Indiana, 1992); Michael Tooley, Time, Tense, and Causation (Oxford, 2000); L. Nathan Oaklander, Temporal Relations and Temporal Becoming (Univ. Pr. of Am., 1984); and Michael Friedman, Foundations of Space-Time Theories (Princeton, 1986).
[A Dictionary of Philosophical Terms and Names]
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