The fragmentary model of temporal experience and the mirroring constraint
- 240 Downloads
A central debate in the current philosophical literature on temporal experience is over the following question: do temporal experiences themselves have a temporal structure that mirrors their temporal contents? Extensionalists argue that experiences do have a temporal structure that mirrors their temporal contents. Atomists insist that experiences don’t have a temporal structure that mirrors their contents. In this paper, I argue that this debate is misguided. Both atomism and extensionalism, considered as general theories of temporal experience, are false, since temporal experience is not a single undifferentiated phenomena as both theories require. I argue for this conclusion in two steps. First, I show that introspection cannot settle the debate. Second, I argue that the neuroscientific evidence is best read as revealing a host of mechanisms involved in temporal perception - some admitting of an extensionalist interpretation while others admitting only of an atomistic interpretation. As a result, neither side of the debate wins.
KeywordsTemporal experience Temporal perception Cognitive science Perception Neuroscience Philosophy of mind Mental representation
This paper has benefited from comments from a number of people. I want to give special thanks to Murat Aydede, Carl Craver, Emma Esmaili, Kathy Fazekas, Eric Margolis, Christopher Mole, Evan Thompson, Hannah Trees, Lawrence Ward, and Kenneth Williford for comments on earlier versions of this paper.
- Boroditsky, L. (2011). How languages construct time. In S. Dehaene & E. Brannon (Eds.), Space, time, and number in the brain (pp. 333–341). Amsterdam: Elsevier.Google Scholar
- Buonomano, D. V. (2000). Decoding temporal information: A model based on short-term synaptic plasticity. The Journal of Neuroscience: The Official Journal of the Society for Neuroscience, 20(3), 1129–1141.Google Scholar
- Carvalho, F. M., Chaim, K. T., Sanchez, T. A., & de Araujo, D. B. (2016). Time-perception network and default mode network are associated with temporal prediction in a periodic motion task. Frontiers in Human Neuroscience, 10, 268.Google Scholar
- Chuard, P. (2011). Temporal experiences and their parts. Philosophers’ Imprint, 11(11), 1–28.Google Scholar
- Craver, C. F., Kwan, D., Steindam, C., & Rosenbaum, R. S. (2014b). Individuals with episodic amnesia are not stuck in time. Neuropsychologia, 57, 191–195. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.neuropsychologia.2014.03.004.Google Scholar
- Dainton, B. (2011). Time, passage and immediate experience. In C. Callender (Ed.), Oxford handbook of philosophy of time (p. 382). Oxford: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
- Dainton, B. (2014a). Temporal consciousness. In E. N. Zalta (Ed.), The Stanford encyclopedia of philosophy (Spring 2014). Retrieved from http://plato.stanford.edu/archives/spr2014/entries/consciousness-temporal/.
- Dainton, B. (2014b). Temporal consciousness. In E. N. Zalta (Ed.), The Stanford encyclopedia of philosophy (Spring 2014). Retrieved from http://plato.stanford.edu/archives/spr2014/entries/consciousness-temporal/.
- Dixon, N. F., & Spitz, L. (1980). The detection of auditory visual desynchrony. Perception, 9(6), 719–721.Google Scholar
- Dretske, F. (1981). Knowledge and the flow of information. Cambridge: MIT Press.Google Scholar
- Dretske, F. (1994). Introspection. Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society, 94, 263–278.Google Scholar
- Dretske, F. (1995). Naturalizing the mind. Cambridge: MIT Press.Google Scholar
- Fodor, J. A. (1994). The elm and the expert. Cambridge: MIT Press.Google Scholar
- Gallistel, C. R. (1996). The perception of time. In K. Akins (Ed.), Perception: Vancouver studies in cognitive science (Vol. 5). Oxford: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
- Gibbon, J., Church, R. M., & Meck, W. H. (1984). Scalar timing in memory. Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences, 423, 52–77. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1749-6632.1984.tb23417.x.Google Scholar
- Grush, R. (2005). Brain time and phenomenological time. In A. Brooks & K. Akins (Eds.), Philosophy and the neurosciences. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
- Grush, R. (2006). How to, and how not to, bridge computational cognitive neuroscience and husserlian phenomenology of time consciousness. Synthese, 153(3), 417–450.Google Scholar
- Grush, R. (2016). On the temporal character of temporal experience, its scale non-invariance, and its small scale structure. https://doi:10.21224/P4WC73.
- Hinton, S. C., & Meck, W. H. (1997). The “internal clocks” of circadian and interval timing. Endeavour, 21(2), 82–87.Google Scholar
- Hoerl, C. (2009). Time and tense in perceptual experience. Philosophers’ Imprint, 9(12), 1–18.Google Scholar
- Hume, D. (2000). A treatise of human nature. Oxford: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
- Jones, C. R. G., Rosenkranz, K., Rothwell, J. C., & Jahanshahi, M. (2004). The right dorsolateral prefrontal cortex is essential in time reproduction: An investigation with repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation. Experimental Brain Research, 158(3), 366–372. https://doi.org/10.1007/s00221-004-1912-3.Google Scholar
- Kelly, S. D. (2005). The puzzle of temporal experience. In A. Brook (Ed.), Cognition and the brain: The philosophy and neuroscience movement (pp. 208–238). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
- Lee, G. (2014a). Extensionalism, atomism, and continuity. In N. Oaklander (Ed.), Debates in the metaphysics of time. London: Bloomsbury.Google Scholar
- Lee, G. (2014b). Temporal experience and the temporal structure of experience. Philosophers’ Imprint, 14(3), 1–21.Google Scholar
- Lloyd, D. (2012). Neural correlates of temporality: Default mode variability and temporal awareness. Consciousness and Cognition, 21(2), 695–703.Google Scholar
- Locke, J. (1689). An essay concerning human understanding. Indianapolis: Hackett Publishing.Google Scholar
- Martin, M. G. F. (2002). The transparency of experience. Mind and Language, 4(4), 376–425.Google Scholar
- Martin, B., Giersch, A., Huron, C., & van Wassenhove, V. (2013). Temporal event structure and timing in schizophrenia: Preserved binding in a longer “now”. Neuropsychologia, 51(2), 358–371. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.neuropsychologia.2012.07.002.Google Scholar
- Matell, M. S., & Meck, W. H. (2000). Neuropsychological mechanisms of interval timing behavior. BioEssays: News and Reviews in Molecular, Cellular and Developmental Biology, 22(1), 94–103. https://doi.org/10.1002/(SICI)1521-1878(200001)22:1<94:AID-BIES14>3.0.CO;2-E.Google Scholar
- Mauk, M. D., & Buonomano, D. V. (2004). The neural basis of temporal processing. Annual Review of Neuroscience, 27, 307–340. https://doi.org/10.1146/annurev.neuro.27.070203.144247.Google Scholar
- Millikan, R. G. (1989). Biosemantics. Journal of Philosophy, 86(July), 281–297.Google Scholar
- Millikan, R. G. (1995). Pushmi-Pullyu representations. Philosophical Perspectives, 9, 185–200.Google Scholar
- Panzeri, S., Ince, R. A. A., Diamond, M. E., & Kayser, C. (2014). Reading spike timing without a clock: Intrinsic decoding of spike trains. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society of London. Series B, Biological sciences, 369(1637), 20120467. https://doi.org/10.1098/rstb.2012.0467.Google Scholar
- Phillips, I. (2010). Perceiving temporal properties. European Journal of Philosophy, 18(2), 176–202.Google Scholar
- Phillips, I. (2014a). Breaking the silence: Motion silencing and experience of change. Philosophical Studies, 168(3), 693–707.Google Scholar
- Phillips, I. (2014b). Experience of and in time. Philosophy Compass, 9(2), 131–144.Google Scholar
- Prinz, J. J. (2002). Furnishing the mind: Concepts and their perceptual basis. London: MIT Press.Google Scholar
- Rashbrook, O. (2013). An appearance of succession requires a succession of appearances. Philosophy and Phenomenological Research, 87(3), 584–610.Google Scholar
- Reid, T. (1855). In J. Walker (Ed.), Essays on the intellectual powers of man. Derby: Boston.Google Scholar
- Skyrms, B. (2010). Signals. Oxford University Press. Retrieved from https://global.oup.com/academic/product/signals-9780199582945.
- Stampe, D. W. (1977). Towards a causal theory of linguistic representation. Midwest Studies in Philosophy, 2(1), 42–63.Google Scholar
- Treisman, M. (1963). Temporal discrimination and the indifference interval. Implications for a model of the “internal clock”. Psychological Monographs, 77(13), 1–31.Google Scholar
- Wearden, J. H. (1999). “Beyond the fields we know…”: Exploring and developing scalar timing theory. Behavioural Processes, 45(1–3), 3–21.Google Scholar