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Monday, May 25, 2020
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Jack Shardlow: “Time and temporal experience, through Russell and Moore”
Abstract: This paper develops the account of our experience and knowledge of time put forward by Russell in his Theory of Knowledge manuscript. Although Russell abandons the project after it receives severe criticism from Wittgenstein (though several chapters derived from it appear as articles in Monist), in producing this manuscript ‘time’, and particularly the notion of ‘the present time’, gave Russell much pause for thought.
As he was notorious for changing his mind on various philosophical issues, in the present discussion I propose to focus largely on Russell’s writing in 1912-3, comparing and contrasting this with some of the remarks made about memory and about the transparency of experience by Moore. My motivation is twofold. First as a matter of scholarship, because Russell’s expressed view over this period has often been misinterpreted and misconstrued. Second as a matter of philosophical curiosity. With an increase in interest in discussions of temporal experience in contemporary discussions, from the philosophy of memory to the temporal aspects of perceptual experience, Russell’s writing in 1912-3 provides us with an interesting (and rarely explicitly offered or defended) position in logical space, making this an independently fruitful and worthwhile undertaking.
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