An Empirical Investigation of Purported Passage Phenomenology

Journal of Philosophy 117 (7):353-386 (2020)
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Abstract
It has widely been assumed, by philosophers, that most people unambiguously have a phenomenology as of time passing, and that this is a datum that philosophical theories must accommodate. Moreover, it has been assumed that the greater the extent to which people have said phenomenology, the more likely they are to endorse a dynamical theory of time. This paper is the first to empirically test these assumptions. Surprisingly, our results do not support either assumption. One experiment instead found the reverse correlation: people were more likely to report having passage phenomenology if they endorsed a non-dynamical theory of time. Given that people do not have an unambiguous phenomenology as of time passing, we conclude that this is suggestive evidence in favor of veridical non-dynamism—the view that our phenomenology is veridical, and that it does not unambiguously represent that time passes. Instead, our phenomenology veridically has some quite different content.
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Archival date: 2020-01-26
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