Philosophical concepts of time
The idea of time relies, first, on the direct experience of a person with irreversible processes occurring in his mind and body; second, to observe the continuously changing phenomena of the external world; third, on memories of the past and assumptions about future events in a person's life. Reflection on experiences and observations, memories and forebodings generates a variety of time concepts that can be conditionally reduced to six groups constituting three pairs of opposites.
† The first pair represents the opposite solutions to the question of the nature of time. It consists of:
1.1. The substantial concept, considering time as a special kind of substance, along with matter, space, etc. (Thales, Anaximander, Democritus, Newton).
1.2. The relational concept, assuming time as the relation between events (Epicurus, Lucretius, Leibniz).
† The second pair characterizes the opposite approaches to the process of becoming, i.e. diverges in the question of the relation between the categories of time and being. It includes:
2.1. The static concept , according to which the events of the past, present and future exist realistically and in a certain sense simultaneously, and the formation and disappearance of objects is an illusion that arises at the moment of realizing a particular change. Moving along its world line, our consciousness "encounters" on various events, meets with them. This moment of meeting and is experienced by us as present, or "now". Becoming here is seen as something that arises at the moment of the encounter of consciousness with an object, and the "disappearance" object means simply the removal of consciousness from the meeting place (Parmenides, Augustine).
2.2. Dynamic concept , according to which only real events exist, whereas past and future events already or still do not really exist. Concerning the moment of the present time, events continuously change their position: the events of the future pass to the present and further into the past. Changing the order of events and expressed by the terms time flow or becoming (Heraclitus, Epicurus).
† The third pair expresses the difference in the nature of the passage of time. It consists of:
3.1. Cyclic concept , according to which time moves in a closed circle, periodically returning to the starting point. This concept is typical primarily for mythological and partly for natural philosophy.
3.2. The linear concept assumes unidirectional deployment of time without returns and repetitions (although in some versions of the linear concept, time reversibility is assumed.)
Mythological concepts of time . The formation of these concepts is mainly due to two factors:
1) an essential dependence of all human activity on natural-natural cycles;
2) awareness of the finiteness of individual being, which contributes to the emergence of the idea of a timeless "absolute" being , which seemed either to be completely devoid of temporal characteristics, or as perfect so that it does not need to be changed.
In mythological representations, the relation to the current time prevails as a characteristic of being of a lower level, which is only a reflection of the "true", i.e. timeless and perfect, being. It's the true Being was placed in the foundation of the world as generating time itself, and the entire sphere of transitory objects. Thus, already in the oldest mythological notion of time, we find the basis for a rather complex construction in which the static and cyclic concepts are combined.
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