Aristotle

Time and change

Authored by: Ursula Coope

The Routledge Companion to Metaphysics

Print publication date:  April  2009
Online publication date:  April  2009

Print ISBN: 9780415396318
eBook ISBN: 9780203879306
Adobe ISBN: 9781134155866

10.4324/9780203879306.ch4

 Download Chapter

 

Abstract

Aristotle’s account of time in Physics, Book 4, chapters 1014 (translated in Hussey 1993), is at once fascinating and frustratingly obscure. In it, he discusses time’s relation to the present, to change, and to the mind. The view that emerges is one on which temporal order depends on a more basic order: an order of the stages within changes. On this view, for there to be time, there must be changes. Moreover, Aristotle holds that if there is to be time, changes must be marked out, or “counted” in a certain way. Because of this, time also depends on the mind: for there to be time, there must be beings capable of counting. These are intriguing claims, but what exactly do they mean? This essay suggests one way in which we might make sense of them.

 Cite
Search for more...
Back to top

Use of cookies on this website

We are using cookies to provide statistics that help us give you the best experience of our site. You can find out more in our Privacy Policy. By continuing to use the site you are agreeing to our use of cookies.