Time Deconstructed. Part 2. Augustine: Extension of the Mind

Introduction

In part 1 we analyzed the ethical or practical take on time of the Stoic philosopher Seneca. He characterized it as the only possession man can have. Time appeared to be the place of the dispersal of human life. But what is time? Do we perceive it passively as something external?

The most profound things are the most common – they make us wonder when we stop receiving them and attempt to perceive. Time is one of them. Everyday life greatly depends on a notion of time and its application. The notion comes from everyday experience, but it should be refined in order be able to contemplate over profound questions.

We will examine in the article how Augustine reconstructs the way the concept of time appeared out of human experience. One can say that eventually he does not give a definition of time, yet, as we believe, he intimates what that is, and also shows the activity of consciousness with its three acts in the construction with the prominent role of memory as that which makes time extended.

Alex Strohl Back to my favourite place in Vancouver
The picture is kindly provided by Alex Strohl

 

Augustine: Extension of the Mind

Phenomenal consciousness does not know that in everyday activity it operates within the universal called ‘time.’ Time appears to it as an object (an image of a line where the point of the present is ever moving further). It takes the division into the past, present, and future for granted, as if it discovered it by chance. However, the negative point that has ever disappearing moments in itself is a universal, that is, the now. Consciousness needs to give the now an extension to speak comprehensively about it. When the extension is provided, where and by which time will be measured if it proved itself to be, in experience, only a disappearing point? To answer all these questions, Augustine reconsiders the givens. Continue reading “Time Deconstructed. Part 2. Augustine: Extension of the Mind”