The unfolding of psychological time

From the introduction

To set out to talk about time is a daunting task for at least two reasons: the concept, in its various meanings, is itself elusive because of its multifaceted nature, and, to complicate the undertaking even more, there are also the different approaches that the natural sciences and philosophy have always tried to develop in order to define this ubiquitous entity in a comprehensive and exhaustive way. The modern thinker is, therefore, thrust before a maze of paths that intertwine like threads in a canvas that is only seemingly homogeneous but which, upon closer analysis, soon reveals an incomprehensible warp where the end drawn is lost before the weaving has even begun.

What we can begin to state with some confidence, however, is that both the “physical” man and his co-existing and inseparable counterpart, “psychological”, perceive and define “time” and cannot in any way do without it for the very acceptance of their existence. Time, therefore, is (exists), and regardless of physical, cosmological, and perceptual theories, its reality cannot be so easily “drowned” in a physical-mathematical concept whose comprehensibility exceeds that of the trivial ticking of a clock. Four-dimensionality can explain the cause of the physical effect. Still, the latter, which is time itself, produces a chain of actions and reactions that, with great difficulty, manage to be justified by the parent theory.

Various clocks, time measuring instruments
The concept of time is one of the most fascinating puzzles that human research has encountered. Despite different disciplines and a rigorous physical definition, many questions have remained unanswered and seem to want to evade any investigation.

Here then emerges the need to understand what the impact of time may be on human perception and thus to try to clarify what is illusory (thus ascribable to that series of phenomena that higher theories may consider second-order effects) and what, on the other hand, has its ontological reality whose denial is not very different from the avoidance that some subjects adopt when faced with distressing situations whose emotional impact is too strong to be dealt with without the risk of destabilization.

Around the concept of time, it is possible to engage in discussions whose points of departure, as well as those of arrival, may differ enormously: the path that I will try to take here, however, will spring from a (quasi) purely phenomenological approach that nonetheless does not disavow physical-mathematical reality but, on the contrary, considers it as an explanatory basis for arriving at the ultimate meaning of the phenomena under consideration…

Full essay in printable PDF version (in Italian)



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