Is time an abstract idea?

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Lord Lucien
Yes, it is. Time is a word, an idea, fabricated by we who perceive it as a means to schedule our lives and measure the passage of existence and it's various changes and routines. It's a human construct, like evil. Just ask Azrael.

Symmetric Chaos
Since we can empirically say that cause always precedes effect I would argue that calling time "abstract" would allow you to deem anything and everything as abstract, thus making the word meaningless.

There are at least two kinds of ideas (concepts): concrete and abstract.

The warmth that an infant feels, when being held closely after birth, is a concrete concept. The affection one feels for another is an abstract concept. The warmth that often accompanies that feeling of affection might very well be constructed with the concrete warmth that that infant felt.

We construct abstract concepts from concrete concepts.

An abstract idea (concept) does not exist outside the human "mind", but it is important to keep in mind that everything that we think, know, and perceive exists outside of the human mind only in our projection of it as existing outside of the human mind. That which is outside the human mind exists but we cannot know it with certainty. We tend to think that the objects that we perceive are in fact existing as mind independent reality. But we can only know what we have processed as being "the thing-in-itself".

Objectivity is our shared subjectivity. Abstract concepts are constructed from concrete ideas (concepts). Abstract ideas are often objectified (reified) and treated as objects. We are meaning creating creatures and we constantly create and reify abstract ideas that we will live, die, and kill for. Freedom and time are examples of these reified ideas.

so time would then be concrete, no?

It would be like asking if length is an abstract idea. The units of measurement would be anthropic and relative, but they represent something that exists outside of the human mind.

"Reality...what a concept."
-- Robin Williams

I am not going to attempt to engage in all of your points, as I can't spend an hour pouring over your post and then referencing other things,
However I will say a few things.
The concept of metaphor as you presented it seems to be rather flawed. It seems to be mixing how we perceive things and how things actually are into a sort of hyper-logical knowledge that doesn't seem to have come from anywhere. Are metaphors supposed to be different "States of Affairs"? (As described by Wittgenstein) Or a perception of the state of affairs? Both?

However when I googled your author, it seems to be more of a linguistic movement, and a movement away from Western Philosophy. I am not equipped to deal with this yet, so I will not.

Another point regarding time that has been missed would be how time actually exists outside of our perceptions of it.
Does time have what is called a "movable present" where what we view as the "present time" is simply moving through an event of time that actually exists? the simplification of this is to say Does the future exist now? Does the Past? This view would argue that in some form it does.(This can be seen to move against free will, but that is another argument)

Or is the present static? Is the present all that exists and the past and future are only concepts and projections? Do we create the "future" as it happens and is the past, in a sense destroyed?

Another question to consider:
If everything in the universe froze, and stopped moving, would time continue?


Originally posted by coberst
How about them apples?


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