10 April: Gerardo Viera (Antwerp) – “The Apparent Unity of Time”
Sala Paci, Via Festa del Perdono 7, h. 14:00-16:00.
Abstract: While we perceive events in our environment through multiple sensory systems, we nevertheless perceive all of these events as occurring within a single unified temporal order that seamlessly encompasses timescales ranging from milliseconds through much longer. In this way, there is an apparent unity to time. I argue that the existing philosophical and scientific accounts of this apparent unity fail, since they assume that an explanation for how perceptual processes represent temporal properties will also provide an explanation of the apparent unity of time. I argue, these two explanatory tasks are separate. An account of how perceptual systems represent aspects of the temporal world comes apart from an explanation of the apparent unity of time. Instead, I argue that we should understand explanations of the apparent unity as paralleling in certain respects explanations of feature binding in vision. In both cases a representational framework is needed within which perceived properties, objects, and events can be located. Finally, I conclude by showing how this understanding of the apparent unity of time has direct implications for the more general literature on the unity of consciousness.