Tuesday, April 3, 2018 

9:00 am - 12:30 pm






Title: Time and Consciousness


Organizers: Carlos Montemayor and Harald Atmanspacher


Speakers: Carlos Montemayor, Holly Andersen, Rick Grush and Geoff Lee





Time perception (for navigation and motor control) is present in many species. Mechanisms for duration (the circadian and interval clocks), simultaneity and temporal order perception underlie these navigational capacities. Moreover, episodic-like memory has been identified in some species, for instance corvids. Time perception, therefore, seems to be a fundamental capacity that animals need to represent their environment. What about the conscious awareness of time, or temporal consciousness? Temporal consciousness, although constrained by the basic mechanisms for time perception, has distinctive features, and is seamlessly integrated into the unity of conscious awareness. In fact, temporal consciousness may play a structural role in conscious awareness—a different function from the basic capacities for navigation. We will explore how temporal consciousness is related to time perception. We will discuss mechanisms involved, the forms of representation (emulation, mapping, integration with causality) and the unique features of temporal consciousness.


We will cover different approaches to time consciousness, contemporary and historical. We will discuss time perception, time representation and how theories of perception might accommodate the distinctive features of time perception. We will examine the distinctive features of temporal consciousness, including the notion of the specious present and unity of phenomenally experienced duration. We will also analyze the topic of time perception and agency.

Intended Audience

No background on the philosophical or psychological literature on time consciousness will be assumed. The purpose of the workshop is not to defend a specific approach, but rather to arrive at a better understanding of the interconnections between various topics. Participants will be encouraged to provide criticism and commentary, in the hope of clarifying the issues from different disciplinary perspectives.

Bios/Links to CVs


Carlos Montemayor is Associate Professor of Philosophy at San Francisco State University. His research focuses on epistemic and representational aspects of consciousness and attention. He has worked on time perception, temporal cognition, temporal consciousness and time and agency. He is currently working on approaches to time cognition at different levels of processing and the implications of the distinction between consciousness and attention.


Holly Andersen is Associate professor of Philosophy at Simon Fraser University, British Columbia. She works in philosophy of science and in metaphysics and epistemology broadly construed. Much of her work relates in one way or another to causation: causal explanation, application of causal methodology to case studies in philosophy of science, problems related to mental causation, and recently, in the metaphysics of causation. She has published paper on time perception, temporal experience and the specious present.


Rick Grush is Full Professor of Philosophy at UC San Diego, and is Director of the UCSD Summer Program for Women in Philosophy. His research focuses on the nature of perception and mental representation, and clusters around several related topics. He has worked on the nature of spatial perception, the nature of temporal perception and the nature of mental representation, in particular the neural mechanisms the brain uses to represent. He is also very interested in language, especially demonstratives. His approach to semantics comes from the cognitive linguistics tradition. He is very interested in the work of Gareth Evans, and has published exegetical material on his views. He has ongoing projects on the nature of subjectivity, and also the nature of group minds.


Geoff Lee