The Experience of the Present Moment
In this essay I discuss an aspect of time awareness: the experience of the present moment. In “William James’s Theory of the ‘Transitive Parts’ of the Stream of Consciousness,” Aron Gurwitsch took up the problem of “the intrinsic temporality of an enduring act.” Some of his remarks shed light on the nature of the experience of present moment. His theory of the field of consciousness provides grounds for the following suggestion: The experience of the present moment is built upon a specific structure of the presented content, namely, a double representation of each content of conscious experience: as a central part of the field and as a marginal part. The transition from the former to the latter is accomplished through a decomposing of the first presentation and re-building it in another part of the field. Accordingly, the experienced temporal flow is also a “movement” through the field. It presupposes a field structure. I find supporting insights for my view in Husserl’s manuscript on temporization (C 6). I also refer to research into neural mechanisms of time awareness and to some recent theories of mental representation.
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