KARL  JASPERS  FORUM
TA 111 (Beamish)

Commentary 8  (to R7)

 

CONCERNING  TIME  AND  REALITY
by Herbert FJ Müller
11 December 2008, posted 20 December 2008

 

PB in R7 :
When one flies, drives, or walks, one is NOT "flowing!"

HM
Question :  why would EXPERIENCE (not ‘one’) stop flowing ‘When one flies, drives, or walks’  ?    The flowing occurs within one’s experience.

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PB in R7 :
We gladly explain that 'reality' has three & ONLY three Orthogonal Spacial Dimensions

HM
You did not really respond to my point, which was : 

  ‘Space’ and ‘time’ are identified in a clear way only after structuring, which in this case includes quantification   (with the aid of structures called ‘dimensions’);   the quantification is a defining aspect, there are no space and no time without it.   If you doubt that, you have to explain why there are so many discussions about whether ‘reality has’ three or four (or more) dimensions.

But for that to happen someone has to count them (with the help of structures called ‘numbers’) :  in terms of (structures called) ‘feet’, ‘pulse beats’, or whatever else is practical.  This need for counting is easily forgotten; but in case you forget it and say that space and time exist and are structured in a mind-independent (MIR) way, you claim (implicitly and inadvertently) that extension and flow measure (quantify) themselves in order to become space and time.  And besides, since the measuring procedure (‘operation’, Bridgman 1927) for extension requires a different method for from that for flow, the two have become different structures in public opinion.    

My point was not to have your simple re-assertion that reality HAS x dimensions.   It is an error, I want to suggest, to treat dimensions as if they were a property of an imaginary mind-independent agency called ‘reality’, or ‘space’, etc., without anybody being involved.   What one can really say is that one can handle the extension aspect with three orthogonal dimensions.   Reality, space, and time are concepts (mental tools), and should not be seen as though they in themselves can have something; instead one can structure (constitute) reality of the physical kind with the help of tools like dimensions, numbers, etc.

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Herbert FJ Müller
     e-mail <herbert.muller (at) mcgill.ca>