Online workshop: The Phenomenon of Temporality

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Online workshop to be held 16th of September 2021 from 13.00 to 18.00 (Central European Time). Register now for free.

16th of September from 13.00 until 18.00
(Central European Time)

PART 1 Temporality – Experiencing the Passage of Time
13.00 – 13.20 Graeme A. Forbes – The Linear Passage of Non-Linear Narratives
13.30 – 13.50 Peter Kügler – Why the Experience of Temporal Passage is Probably
not an Illusion
14.00 – 14.20 Tina Röck – The Plurality of Ontological Temporality
14.30 – 15.30 Discussion 1
PART 2 Rethinking Temporality – Phenomenological Reflections
15.30 – 15.50 Richard Polt – Kairos Punctuates Chronos
16.00 – 16.20 Nicolas de Warren – The Trust of Time
16.30 – 16.50 Daniel Neumann – Towards an “Empty Teleology” of Time
17.00 – 18.00 Discussion 2

Tina Röck, University of Dundee I Daniel Neumann, University of Klagenfurt


In this workshop we will engage with temporality and the experience of time. One basic question which has found quite different solutions in phenomenology is the problem of what motivates and structures the experience of time. Related to this is the question of temporalities’ internal divisions. How do we phenomenologically approach the problem of temporality? Can temporality be identified as a specific aspect of experience or has it to be addressed as underlying experience? How is time given, such that it can be addressed as structuring our experience? Or should temporality be considered from an ontological perspective? If so, what then is the ontology of temporality? These issues open a path towards reflecting on the intersection of time and being as well as temporality and being, that can reshape traditional ways of investigating time. What is the relation between measured time, eternity, temporal dimensions and the experience of temporality? Can we understand temporality in distinction from consciousness and is it thus a realist problem or does temporality presuppose consciousness and is thus an idealism?

Part 1: Temporality – Experiencing the Passage of Time

13.00 – 13.20 Graeme A. Forbes (University of Kent) – The Linear Passage of Non-Linear
I think the passage of time is a change from potentiality to actuality in accordance with the laws of nature. The future is potential, the past is actual, and the present concerns ongoing actualizing of potential. But understanding temporality seems to involve something much less linear. A moment that was lived as sheer panic can enter history as our finest hour, and the times that we were happiest to be alive can be poisoned by regret. I will outline the relation between lived experience, which has a narrative structure, and the passage of time, which is just one fucking thing after another.

13.30 – 13.50 Peter Kügler (University of Innsbruck) – Why the Experience of Temporal
Passage is Probably not an Illusion
Illusionism denies the objective reality of temporal passage (but not of time itself) and considers experiences of passage as phenomenal illusions. It must be distinguished from reductionism, the view that there is not even a phenomenal illusion. After discussing what the mental representation of passage involves and how illusionists attempt to explain the alleged illusion, I will argue against illusionism by defending the claim that the reality of passage provides the best explanation of passage experiences. This argument will be based on an investigation of criteria for good explanations.

14.00 – 14.20 Tina Röck (University of Dundee) – The Plurality of Ontological Temporality
There seem to be three main ways to conceptualise and see the nature of time. There is the experience of temporality, which is captured in the metaphor of the flow of time. Then there is linear or measurable time, which is conceptualised through the timeline. Finally, there is the often-overlooked temporal being of material existence, highlighted in the metaphors of time as expansion, growth or unfolding. I will focus on investigating this last dimension, which I call ontological temporality. I will present a view of time as ontological becoming, that conceptualises time both as being objective as well as plural (i.e. multi-perspectival). I will argue that ontological temporality reflects an aspect of the way we live time: We are related, connected to each other and the more than human world through ontological temporality – we dwell both in and through it.

Discussion 1 – 14.30 – 15.30

Part 2 – Rethinking Temporality – Phenomenological Reflections

15.30 – 15.50 Richard Polt (Xavier University) – Kairos Punctuates Chronos
Chronos is the countable continuum of before and after. Kairos is a singular turning point that converts the undone into the done. Kairos punctuates chronos, forming it into significant configurations in which counting can count for something. At its most acute, kairos punctures chronos, interrupting significance and transfiguring future, present, and past. Punctuation and puncturing involve freedom and meaning; a geometrical point, abstracted from freedom and meaning, cannot represent lived time, but only observed time. If there are no pure observers, but all observers are living, then every chronological understanding presupposes a kairological understanding.

16.00 – 16.20 Nicolas de Warren (Pennsylvania State University) – The Trust of Time
The aim of my reflections is to argue for the primordial significance of trust, in its threefold dimensions of trust in others, trust in the world, and trust in oneself, for human existence. In developing this argument, I shall propose that the temporality of trust plays an ontological role in the constitution of the life-world, of what it is to be in the world with others. The fundamental sense of what it is to exist temporally in the world stands inscribed within a texture of trust, whether broken, repaired, or sustained. To be is to trust and entrusted to be.

16.30 – 16.50 Daniel Neumann (University of Klagenfurt) – Towards an “Empty Teleology”
of Time
When considering the temporality of the future, a standard approach is to think about how it arrives based on this present moment. My question is here is instead how the future comes to pass without this being derived from the present. Firstly, I will look at Husserl’s idea of protention in order to discuss how phenomenology has conceptualized the limit between present and future within lived experience. Secondly, I argue for an empty teleology of time in which our temporal engagement in the world is distinguished from our existential concern with temporal things.

Discussion 2 – 17.00 – 18.00