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The Philosophical Retreat to the Here and Now: Notes on Living in Time

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  14 July 2022

Abstract

The ordinary human concerns with the past and the future can be seen both as forms of suffering (anxiety toward the future, regret toward the past, etc.) and as illusory because they involve the failure to appreciate the primary reality of the present. In this lecture I argue that while there are certainly ways of being occupied with past or future times that we have reason to criticize, such criticism cannot base itself on any metaphysical claim to the singular or exclusive reality of the present. The task of developing useful forms of describing and assessing the different ways we can go wrong in temporalizing our lives is hindered rather than helped by the suggestion that our concerns with the past and with the future are as such forms of attachment to the Unreal.

Type
Research Article
Copyright
Copyright © The Author(s), 2022. Published by Cambridge University Press on behalf of The Royal Institute of Philosophy

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Footnotes

This lecture was given at the Royal Institute of Philosophy annual lecture, Cardiff University, October 18, 2021. I am grateful for comments from Sophie Archer, Scott Howard, Todd May, Jennifer Whiting, Matt Boyle, Ronald de Sousa, Nick Riggle, and David Zapero-Maier.

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