Changes 2012: A Tale of the Eternal and the Temporal

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The tendency of literary criticism to read these stories as ethnographic or exotic studies at the time and even nowadays accounts for the bias through which this type of fiction is perceived while the stories actually played with the conventions of exotic writing. While modernity and colonisation tend to be considered as simultaneous phenomena by postcolonial thinkers and imperial historians like Nicholas Dirks, 12 these short stories show that colonial modernity is always behind metropolitan modernity; it is always belated compared to the time of London, compared to national temporality.

There is no single temporal frame of modernity, but a series of modern temporalities which never intersect and such variety is stressed by colonial short stories. The effect of conflicting times produced by Kiplingian poetics is further echoed by Suleri:. The narrative moves from the evocation of the time of the past event, the windy day on which the children went to the sea, to that of another time, the time of adulthood when the heroine remembers that day:.

When he speaks he rushes up and down the scale […]. The wind carries their voices […]. It is getting very dark. In the harbour the coal hulks show two lights—one high on a mast, and one from the stern. Look over there. Do you remember? The depiction of colonisation in these short stories cannot be separated from the evocation of a disjunction which is characterised by effects of temporal acceleration or slowing-down.

According to several Kiplingian narrators, young Englishmen experience premature rites of passage when they take part in the imperial effort. Time is either accelerated or slowed down in colonial short fiction, always jarring with the present. This also shows how colonial short fiction questions modern teleology and the notion of homogeneous time.


The short story itself, as it recalls a fragment, formally conveys disjunction and signals the impossibility for modern time to be thought of as homogeneous or teleological; a preoccupation that is certainly predominant in modernist short story writing. Jervis wonders, as the uncanny is a state of disorientation, whether it could be a distinctively modern experience.

But he adds:. But perhaps enlightenment is productive of shadows in the first place: to reveal, to cast light is to constitute the background as dark. In this respect, the Enlightenment would embody the paradox inherent in the Freudian uncanny, the twinfold process whereby hidden becomes unhidden as familiar becomes unfamiliar. Such helplessness is conveyed through the mention of ghosts or holes—both literal and metaphorical—that threaten the white man in the colonies and stand for the many cracks in the colonial ideology of modernity.

Modernist short story writing cannot be separated from the production of more popular texts, particularly when the latter also experimented with the possibilities of the genre. The study of the colonial dimension of these short stories throws light on the modernist preoccupation with spatial and temporal disjunction. Colonial short fiction, by suggesting that colonialism is the hidden side of modernity, presents the latter as a complex phenomenon to which modernists responded through their short stories in particular. Bhabha, Homi.

The Location of Culture. London; New York: Routledge, Chakrabarty, Dipesh. Princeton: Princeton University Press, High and Low Moderns. Dirks, Nicholas B. Colonialism and Culture. Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press, Dixon, Robert. Esty, Jed. New York: Oxford University Press, Flora, Joseph, ed.

Boston, Mass. Flynn, Nicole. Mary Wilson and Kerry L. New York: Palgrave Macmillan, Forster, E. By Rudyard Kipling. The Daily Herald June 9, 7.

Grant, Ben and Kaori Nagai. Kaori Nagai and Caroline Rooney. London: Palgrave Macmillan, Greenberger, Allen J. Hanson, Clare. Short Stories and Short Fictions: Jervis, John. Jo Collins and John Jervis. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, Joyce, James. Harry Levin. London: Grafton Books, Kipling, Rudyard. Edward Said. London: Penguin Classics, Oxford: Oxford University Press, Plain Tales from the Hills.

Rutherford Andrew. Traffics and Discoveries , Doylestown, Penn. Time Vault is banned. Dingus Egg and Gauntlet of Might are unrestricted. Mishra's Workshop is restricted. For flavor reasons, all legendary cards of type "Summon Legends"—then called Legends —or "Legendary Land" were restricted. Divine Intervention is banned. Maze of Ith is restricted.

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Creation of Standard then called "Type 2" on January 10, inheriting banned and restricted lists from Vintage. Legal standard expansions are then the most current basic set Revised Edition at the time and the latest two Magic expansions only The Dark and Fallen Empires. Unlike in Vintage, the head judge cannot ban cards from any such legal expansion.

Legacy is created then called Type 1. The list of banned cards is the sum of all cards that are either restricted or banned in Vintage or Standard. Kant, for example, treated space and time in his Transcendental Aesthetic as things that should be explained by a single, unified theory. And his theory of space and time, revolutionary though it may have been in other respects, was in this respect typical of philosophical accounts of space and time.

As one can ask whether there could be two extended objects that were not spatially related to each other, one can ask whether there could be two events that were not temporally related to each other. One can ask whether space is a a real thing—a substance—a thing that exists independently of its inhabitants, or b a mere system of relations among those inhabitants.

And one can ask the same question about time. But there are also questions about time that have no spatial analogues—or at least no obvious and uncontroversial analogues.

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There are, for example, questions about the grounds of various asymmetries between the past and the future—why is our knowledge of the past better than our knowledge of the future? There do not seem to be objective asymmetries like this in space. In one way of thinking about time, there is a privileged temporal direction marking the difference between the past, present, and future. Times change from past to present to future, giving rise to passage. Presentist A-theorists, like Prior , deny that the past or future have any concrete reality. Presentists typically think of the past and future as, at best, akin to abstract possible worlds—they are the way the world was or will be, just as possible worlds are ways the actual world could be.

Other A-theorists, like Sullivan , hold that the present is metaphysically privileged but deny that there is any ontological difference between the past, present, and future. More generally, A-theorists often incorporate strategies from modal metaphysics into their theories about the relation of the past and the future to the present. According to B-theories of time, the only fundamental distinction we should draw is that some events and times are earlier or later relative to others.

According to the B-theorists, there is no objective passage of time, or at least not in the sense of time passing from future to present and from present to past. B-theorists typically maintain that all past and future times are real in the same sense in which the present time is real—the present is in no sense metaphysically privileged. It is also true, and less often remarked on, that space raises philosophical questions that have no temporal analogues—or at least no obvious and uncontroversial analogues.

Why, for example, does space have three dimensions and not four or seven? On the face of it, time is essentially one-dimensional and space is not essentially three-dimensional. It also seems that the metaphysical problems about space that have no temporal analogues depend on the fact that space, unlike time, has more than one dimension.

For example, consider the problem of incongruent counterparts: those who think space is a mere system of relations struggled to explain our intuition that we could distinguish a world containing only a left hand from a world containing only a right hand. So it seems there is an intuitive orientation to objects in space itself. It is less clear whether the problems about time that have no spatial analogues are connected with the one-dimensionality of time. Finally, one can raise questions about whether space and time are real at all—and, if they are real, to what extent so to speak they are real.

Or was McTaggart's position the right one: that space and time are wholly unreal? If these problems about space and time belong to metaphysics only in the post-Medieval sense, they are nevertheless closely related to questions about first causes and universals. First causes are generally thought by those who believe in them to be eternal and non-local.

God, for example—both the impersonal God of Aristotle and the personal God of Medieval Christian, Jewish, and Muslim philosophy—is generally said to be eternal, and the personal God is said to be omnipresent. To say that God is eternal is to say either that he is everlasting or that he is somehow outside time. And this raises the metaphysical question of whether it is possible for there to be a being—not a universal or an abstract object of some other sort, but an active substance—that is everlasting or non-temporal.

An omnipresent being is a being that does not occupy any region of space not even the whole of it, as the luminiferous ether of nineteenth-century physics would if it existed , and whose causal influence is nevertheless equally present in every region of space unlike universals, to which the concept of causality does not apply. The doctrine of divine omnipresence raises the metaphysical question whether it is possible for there to be a being with this feature. But it is doubtful whether this is a position that is possible for a metaphysician who says that a white thing is a bundle composed of whiteness and various other universals.

All theories of universals, therefore, raise questions about how things in various ontological categories are related to space. And all these questions have temporal analogues. Related to questions about the nature of space and time are questions about the nature of objects that take up space or persist through time, and these questions form yet another central theme in post-medieval metaphysics. Are some or all objects composed of proper parts? Can more that one object be located in exactly the same region? Do objects persist through change by having temporal parts?

Much work on persistence and constitution has focused on efforts to address a closely knit family of puzzles—the puzzles of coincidence. Consider a gold statue. Many metaphysicians contend that there is at least one material object that is spatially co-extensive with the statue, a lump of gold.

This is easily shown, they say, by an appeal to Leibniz's Law the principle of the non-identity of discernibles. There is a statue here and there is a lump of gold here, and—if the causal story of the statue's coming to be is of the usual sort—the lump of gold existed before the statue. Or so these metaphysicians conclude.

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But it has seemed to other metaphysicians that this conclusion is absurd, for it is absurd to suppose these others say that there could be spatially coincident physical objects that share all their momentary non-modal properties. Hence, the problem: What, if anything, is the flaw in the argument for the non-identity of the statue and the lump?

Tibbles is a cat. Suppose Tail is cut off—or, better, annihilated. Tibbles still exists, for a cat can survive the loss of its tail. But what will be the relation between Tib and Tibbles? Can it be identity? No, that is ruled out by the non-identity of discernibles, for Tibbles will have become smaller and Tib will remain the same size.

But then, once again, we seem to have a case of spatially coincident material objects that share their momentary non-modal properties. Both these constitution problems turn on questions about the identities of spatially coincident objects—and, indeed, of objects that share all their proper parts. A third famous problem of material constitution—the problem of the Ship of Theseus—raises questions of a different sort.

Baker is a defense of this thesis. Others contend that all the relations between the objects that figure in both problems can be fully analyzed in terms of parthood and identity. For a more thorough overview of the solutions to these puzzles and different theories of constitution in play, see Rea ed. Of course, discussion of causes go back to Ancient Philosophy, featuring prominently in Aristotle's Metaphysics and Physics.

Aristotle classifies four such explanatory conditions—an object's form, matter, efficient cause, and teleology. An object's efficient cause is the cause which explains change or motion in an object. With the rise of modern physics in the seventeenth century, interest in efficient causal relations became acute, and it remains so today. And when contemporary philosophers discuss problems of causation, they typically mean this sense. One major issue in the metaphysics of causation concerns specifying the relata of causal relations. Consider a mundane claim: an iceberg caused the Titanic to sink.

Does the causal relation hold between two events: the event of the ship hitting the iceberg and the event of the ship sinking? Or does it hold between two sets of states of affairs? Or does it hold between two substances, the iceberg and the ship? Must causal relations be triadic or otherwise poly-adic? For example, one might think that we are always required to qualify a causal claim: the iceberg, rather than the captain's negligence, was causally responsible for the ships foundering.

And can absences feature in causal relations? For example, does it make sense to claim that a lack of lifeboats was the cause of a third class passenger's death? We might further ask whether causal relations are objective and irreducible features of reality. Hume famously doubted this, theorizing that that our observations of causation were nothing more than observations of constant conjunction. For example, perhaps we think icebergs cause ships to sink only because we always observe ship-sinking events occurring after iceberg-hitting events and not because there is a real causal relation that holds between icebergs and foundering ships.

Contemporary metaphysicians have been attracted to other kinds of reductive treatments of causation. Some—like Stalnaker and Lewis—have argued that causal relations should be understood in terms of counterfactual dependencies Stalnaker and Lewis For example, an iceberg's striking the ship caused its sinking at time t if and only if in the nearest possible worlds where the iceberg did not strike the ship at time t , the ship did not sink.

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Others have argued that causal relations should be understood in terms of instantiations of laws of nature. Davidson and Armstrong each defend this view albeit in different ways. All of these theories expand on an idea from Hume's Treatise in attempting to reduce causation to different or more fundamental categories. For a more complete survey of recent theories of causation, see Paul and Hall Debates about causation and laws of nature further give rise to a related set of pressing philosophical questions—questions of freedom.

In the seventeenth century, celestial mechanics gave philosophers a certain picture of a way the world might be: it might be a world whose future states were entirely determined by the past and the laws of nature of which Newton's laws of motion and law of universal gravitation served as paradigms.

The problem of free will can be stated as a dilemma. If determinism is true, there is only one physically possible future. But then how can anyone ever have acted otherwise?

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But if determinism does not hold, if there are alternative physically possible futures, then which one comes to pass must be a mere matter of chance. Unless there is something wrong with one of these two arguments, the argument for the incompatibility of free will and determinism or the argument for the incompatibility of free will and the falsity of determinism, free will is impossible. The problem of free will may be identified with the problem of discovering whether free will is possible—and, if free will is possible, the problem of giving an account of free will that displays an error in one of or both these arguments.

Van Inwagen defends the position that, although the modern problem of free will has its origin in philosophical reflections on the consequences of supposing the physical universe to be governed by deterministic laws, the problem cannot be evaded by embracing a metaphysic like dualism or idealism that supposes that agents are immaterial or non-physical. If it is natural both to pair and to oppose time and space, it is also natural to pair and to oppose the mental and the physical.

The modern identity theory holds that all mental events or states are a special sort of physical event or state. The theory is parsimonious among its other virtues but we nevertheless exhibit a natural tendency to distinguish the mental and the physical. Perhaps the reason for this is epistemological: whether our thoughts and sensations are physical or not, the kind of awareness we have of them is of a radically different sort from the kind of awareness we have of the flight of a bird or of a flowing stream, and it seems to be natural to infer that the objects of the one sort of awareness are radically different from the objects of the other.

That the inference is logically invalid is as is so often the case no barrier to its being made. Whatever the reason may be, philosophers have generally but not universally supposed that the world of concrete particulars can be divided into two very different realms, the mental and the material. If one takes this view of things, one faces philosophical problems that modern philosophy has assigned to metaphysics. Prominent among these is the problem of accounting for mental causation. If thoughts and sensations belong to an immaterial or non-physical portion of reality—if, for example, they are changes in immaterial or non-physical substances—how can they have effects in the physical world?

How, for example, can a decision or act of will cause a movement of a human body? How, for that matter, can changes in the physical world have effects in the non-physical part of reality? If one's feeling pain is a non-physical event, how can a physical injury to one's body cause one to feel pain? But the former has troubled them more, since modern physics is founded on principles that assert the conservation of various physical quantities. If a non-physical event causes a change in the physical world—dualists are repeatedly asked—does that not imply that physical quantities like energy or momentum fail to be conserved in any physically closed causal system in which that change occurs?

And does that not imply that every voluntary movement of a human body involves a violation of the laws of physics—that is to say, a miracle? A wide range of metaphysical theories have been generated by the attempts of dualists to answer these questions. Some have been less than successful for reasons that are not of much intrinsic philosophical interest.

Broad, for example, proposed — that the mind affects the body by momentarily changing the electrical resistance of certain synapses in the brain, thus diverting various current pulses, which literally follow the path of least resistance into paths other than those they would have taken. And this, he supposed, would not imply a violation of the principle of the conservation of energy. But it seems impossible to suppose that an agent could change the electrical resistance of a physical system without expending energy in the process, for to do this would necessitate changing the physical structure of the system, and that implies changing the positions of bits of matter on which forces are acting think of turning the knob on a rheostat or variable resistor: one must expend energy to do this.

If this example has any philosophical interest it is this: it illustrates the fact that it is impossible to imagine a way for a non-physical thing to affect the behavior of a classical physical system without violating a conservation principle. The various dualistic theories of the mind treat the interaction problem in different ways. Like occasionalism, it presupposes theism, and, unlike occasionalism, it entails either that free will does not exist or that free will is compatible with determinism.

In addition to these dualistic theories, there are monistic theories, theories that dissolve the interaction problem by denying the existence of either the physical or the non-physical: idealism and physicalism.

Metaphysics (Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy)

Such a theory must, of course, find a place for the mental in a wholly physical world, and such a place exists only if mental events and states are certain special physical events and states. There are at least three important metaphysical questions raised by these theories. Secondly, does physicalism imply that mental events and states cannot really be causes does physicalism imply a kind of epiphenomenalism? As is obvious from the discussion in Section 3 , the scope of metaphysics has expanded beyond the tidy boundaries Aristotle drew. So how should we answer our original question?

Is contemporary metaphysics just a compendium of philosophical problems that cannot be assigned to epistemology or logic or ethics or aesthetics or to any of the parts of philosophy that have relatively clear definitions?

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Or is there a common theme that unites work on these disparate problems and distinguishes contemporary metaphysics from other areas of inquiry? These issues concerning the nature of metaphysics are further connected with issues about the epistemic status of various metaphysical theories. But many post-Medieval metaphysicians have refused to take this for granted. Some of them, in fact, have been willing to defend the thesis that the world is very different from, perhaps radically different from, the way people thought it was before they began to reason philosophically.

For example, in response to the puzzles of coincidence considered in Section 3. This entails that composite objects—tables, chairs, cats, and so on—do not exist, a somewhat startling view. And as we saw in Section 3. But no matter how we classify it, the surprising nature of many contemporary metaphysical claims puts additional pressure on practioners to explain just what they are up to.

Changes 2012: A Tale of the Eternal and the Temporal Changes 2012: A Tale of the Eternal and the Temporal
Changes 2012: A Tale of the Eternal and the Temporal Changes 2012: A Tale of the Eternal and the Temporal
Changes 2012: A Tale of the Eternal and the Temporal Changes 2012: A Tale of the Eternal and the Temporal
Changes 2012: A Tale of the Eternal and the Temporal Changes 2012: A Tale of the Eternal and the Temporal
Changes 2012: A Tale of the Eternal and the Temporal Changes 2012: A Tale of the Eternal and the Temporal
Changes 2012: A Tale of the Eternal and the Temporal Changes 2012: A Tale of the Eternal and the Temporal
Changes 2012: A Tale of the Eternal and the Temporal Changes 2012: A Tale of the Eternal and the Temporal
Changes 2012: A Tale of the Eternal and the Temporal Changes 2012: A Tale of the Eternal and the Temporal
Changes 2012: A Tale of the Eternal and the Temporal

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