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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on September 9, 2012
Julius Thomas Fraser, founder of the International Society for the Study of Time and author of "Of Time, Passion and Knowledge" 1975, wrote in "Time, Conflict and Human Values" 1999 "Science does not supply absolute certainty; that can come only from unquestioned dogma. What good science does is this: it raises the incomprehensible to the level of the obvious, and then it shows that the new obvious is incomprehensible. I should add immediately that good art is always both obvious and incomprehensible, and therefore paradoxical".

Fraser was obviously not only a timesmith but also a wordsmith. In his work on the theory of time as conflict he articulated that the search for truth is prompted by the mind's propensity for whatever is enduring, whatever seems to defy death, and that a working definition of truth is the recognition of permanence in reality. However, as there is no permanence, knowing what is believed to be true has been a perennial source of unresolved conflicts. His hypothetical conclusion is that the historical function of the search for truth has been the creation of conflicts, and through them, social, cultural, and personal change: an evolutionary model.

Likewise beauty is such that our feelings desire its perpetuation. The opposite is ugly. Again as we cannot agree on our desires the conflict creates an evolutionary impetus.

So it goes - a brilliant work that synthesises a thought-provoking world view. Some books can change your perspective. This is one of them.

A followup read is A Blessed Rage for Order: Deconstruction, Evolution, and Chaos (Studies in Literature and Science)

The theory of time as conflict is that time can be conceived as a nested hierarchy of unresolvable conflicts, rather like a babushka doll. These nested levels represent qualitatively different temporalities, for both time and the perception of time have evolved. In one sense, time is physically different than it was when the universe first came into being.

atemporal -
blank sheet of paper
objects travelling at speed of light
black hole/Big Bang
causation has no meaning

prototemporal -
fragmented shaft of an arrow
partical-waves travelling at less than speed of light
instants may be specified only statistically
probabilistic causation joins prototemporal events

eotemporal -
shaft of an arrow
countable and orderable without a preferred direction
nowless time
physical matter
time orientable but not time oriented
deterministic causation joins eotemporal events

biotemporal -
short arrow
future, past, present,limited temporal horizons
organic present
simultaneities of necessity
organic intentionality directed toward concrete goals and serving the continuity of the organism's life
multiple and final causation
rigid programming gives way to dynamic programming

nootemporal -
long straight arrow
"You'll come to me out of the long ago"
intentionality directed towards concrete or symbolic goals
serving continued integrity of the self.
human actions are connected through symbolic causes known as ideas
the possibility of choice among ideas and corresponding actions is known as human freedom
ideas can produce responses to imaginary challenges

sociotemporal -
A society is a group of people with a family of conflicts that defines them
and distinguishes them from other societies.
man has capacity to change social institutions in response to symbolic causes

Of Time, Passion, and Knowledge
Time and Time Again: Reports from a Boundary of the Universe (Supplements to the Study of Time)
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