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Time, Space and Being:

Are space and time just a human fantasy?

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  • The Debate

    Time, Space and Being

    We think space and time are the structure of the universe. Yet Einstein argued 'space and time are modes by which we think and not conditions in which we live'. And philosophers, Kant and Heidegger, saw space and time as the framework of thought not the world. Are space and time just a human fantasy?

    The Panel

    Physicist and author of The End of Time Julian Barbour, Cambridge metaphysician Huw Price and philosopher of science Michela Massimi think outside space and time.

  • Find out more about speakers

Jump to what you want to see in the debate
  • Michela Massimi
    The Pitch
    Space and time do not exist independently of human thought
  • Huw Price
    The Pitch
    The standard physical understanding of time and space is incomplete
  • The Pitch
    Time and space are illusions
  • The Debate
    Theme One
    Are space and time real?
  • The Debate
    Theme Two
    Placing ourselves in space and time
  • The Debate
    Theme Three
    What's 'out there'?
Want to learn more about our speakers?
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lewmay on 07/12/2015 7:31am

We are that which makes up the wave function. Where in the all is not fixed. We are engaged as a single point that collectively defines now, then and to be. A participatory body.

Dzen_o on 01/12/2015 5:39pm

“We think space and time are the structure of the universe. Yet Einstein argued 'space and time are modes by which we think and not conditions in which we live'.”

A next discussion in the IAI that relates to Meta-mainstream-philosophical and mainstream-physical notions – “Space”, “Time”, “Change” and “Being”. Besides, since the discussion is between humans’ consciousnesses in given concrete Universe is necessary to understand – what are also Meta-notions “Matter”, “Consciousness”; as well as Meta-notion “Information”, though.

All Meta-notions above can be defined / reasonably understandable only on framework of the “The Information as Absolute” conception ( where it is rigorously proven that there is nothing besides some informational patterns/ systems that are elements of absolutely fundamental and absolutely infinite “Information” Set, which exists always, or “in absolutely infinitely long time”, since any information principally, logically, cannot be non-existent.

Matter, where material objects exist and interact and Consciousness, where non-material objects (humans’ consciousnesses) exist and interact, are only a [infinitesimal relating to the Set] sub-Sets of this Set.

Information isn’t something what is used by humans only at mutual interactions (communication) between consciousnesses. She is the base of everything; again - there is/are nothing besides the informational patterns. But She, in turn, isn’t something “magical”, any informational pattern/ message must be built in accordance with a set of main universal Rules / possibilities - “Logos”, which [Logos] “transforms” something uncertain in some information.

.And “Space” and “Time” are such universal Rules/possibilities from “Logos”, which acts in whole “Information” Set – including, of course in sub-Sets “Matter” and “Consciousness”.

For example as the possibilities Space and Time make possible to write some text, at that Space can be, for example, a paper sheet. Time establishes the possibility of existing any/every change and in this case makes possible writing/reading a text at all. As Rules they establish that between different informational patterns, here – words, must be some spatial (at writing) and temporal (at writing and reading) intervals.

At that nether Time nor Space by any means don’t establish – what these intervals must be, the unique, but principal and universal requirement – both intervals must not be equal to zero exactly.

I.e. these Rules/ possibilities act implicitly, in the example above all intervals totally depend on concrete writer/reader capability and desire.

Analogously Space and Time acts in the sub-Set “Matter”, where as possibilities they constitute 4D Euclidian spacetime – an empty “container”, which differs from the paper sheet above but non-principally. In the sub-Set “Consciousness” they constitute some spacetime also and this spacetime, very probably, differs from the Matter’s spacetime (at least the sub-Sets have different spaces). And, again – both Rules/possibilities act implicitly, there is no, for example, some active “time flow”, which carries something to somewhere.

Both Rules/possibilities in application to sub-Sets Matter and Consciousness have more properties then the listed above universal properties, when here is no place to discuss them.

So more – see the viXra link above.


PS1. In my posts here as a rule the URL links are inactive, but if copied and further pasted in a browser address line, the links work.

PS2. “viXra” is in certain extent a marginal resource, but, for example, the paper “The Information as Absolute” was rejected seems near ten mainstream-[philosophical journals, nd so viXra seems now a unique resourse, where indeed new things can be published.

adamg on 25/11/2015 4:07am

Was Huw Price listening to Michela Massimi speak? He basically repeats her pitch in less refined language and unwittingly refers to metaphysical ideas as physics. Then he relativizes the matter in a way that Massimi was careful to avoid! All the speakers are trying to say that space isn't "real" without mental representations; and they don't say that ideas (time-bound, or timeless as Price thinks @ 42:00) have physical spaces or are spatially ordered, which would also be counter-intuitive. So it seems to me that there's a missing element in the discussion, ie being conscious and social life. Though there were comments along these lines at 11:47, 27:13, 38:06. Barbour tried to be empirical in the first half of the video and then he let his imagination run which was nice to see. This move led to a discussion about the transcendent and the problem with science, ie a view of time from nowhere.

JRDAGO on 23/11/2015 11:51am

If Light has a journey, starting in the past in direction to the future and it takes time crossing space until find an object, living thing or anything else existing in the Universe and its reflexes carry on further taking time until reach our eyes and also concerning the natural constitutions of our senses, as result we may be perceiving the external world in any case in the past.

Stars as source of light spread its beams in all directions and time. So, if it is there a center of the Universe, even expanding into the future a past situation could also happening against the direction to Its expansion.

About light, we can imagine that during its journey into the future, when each of us senses it becomes part of its history as one more central character who transformed beams of energy into distinctive living being.

We can also look stars and create many inspiring images about Life, but in reality the Universe as well as Human Beings are extremely complex and probable none of us are able to perceive the instant moments of the own time, because the characteristics of time, space, speed of light and ours senses. So, there are many paradoxes in our lives and we may need to realize soon about the destruction of “Present Moments” we can create in Earth, because egocentrisms producing illusions of mastering It.

Terry Allen on 21/11/2015 7:03pm

In a continuum the universe can only exist in the “present”. The past ceases to be as the “present” moves on, and the future cannot exist until the “present” catches up with it. The reason for this is that in a continuum we consist of the same particles - moment by moment.

The most plausible explanation is that the Universe only exists in a dynamic present and that our concept of time lies purely in the reservoir of our memories and our hopes for the future.

Patrick Fitzmaurice

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