21 Feb: Donnchadh O’Conaill (University of Fribourg) – “Temporal Modes of Presentation and the Experience of Passage”
Sala Paci, Via Festa del Perdono 7, h. 15.00-17:00.
Abstract: It is often claimed that in perception we experience temporal passage, that is, we experience times or events as passing from the future into the present and then into the past. The experience of passage is often cited as a reason to believe that tense is a feature of reality. Opponents of this claim typically argue either that we do not have an experience of passage, or that we experience passage but that this is an illusion. I shall outline a new account of the experience of passage. On this account, it is true that time seems to pass, but it is not the case that our experiences present this passage as a mind-independent feature of reality. To clarify the sense in which we experience passage, I shall argue that our perceptual experiences are structured by temporal modes of presentation, and so represent reality in a tensed manner. This way of representing places certain conditions on how reality must be if our experiences are to be veridical; these conditions can be met whether or not reality is itself tensed. On this account, therefore, we do have experiences of passage but they would not be illusory even if reality turns out to not be tensed.