Episodic Imagining, Temporal Experience, and Beliefs about Time

Philosophy and Phenomenological Research (forthcoming)
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Abstract

We explore the role of episodic imagining in explaining why people both differentially report that it seems to them in experience as though time robustly passes, and why they differentially report that they believe that time does in fact robustly pass. We empirically investigate two hypotheses, the differential vividness hypothesis, and the mental time travel hypothesis. According to each of these, the degree to which people vividly episodically imagine past/future states of affairs influences their tendency to report that it seems to them as though time robustly passes and to judge that time does robustly pass. According to the former, a greater degree of vividness will tend to increase the extent to which people make such reports, while according to the latter, it will tend to decrease the extent to which people make such reports. We found weak evidence in favour of the former hypothesis. We reflect on the implications of this finding for theorising about such reports.

Author Profiles

Kristie Miller
University of Sydney
Anthony Bigg
University of Sydney
Andrew James Latham
Aarhus University

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