The Experience and Perception of Time
What is ‘the perception of time’? The very expression ‘the perception of time’ invites objection. Insofar as time is something different from events, we do not perceive time as such, but changes or events in time. But, arguably, we do not perceive events only, but also their temporal relations. So, just as it is natural to say that we perceive spatial distances and other relations between objects (I see the dragonfly as hovering above the surface of the water), it seems natural to talk of perceiving one event following another (the thunderclap as following the flash of lightning), though even here there is a difficulty. For what we perceive, we perceive as present—as going on right now. Kinds of temporal experience There are a number of what Ernst Pöppel (1978) calls ‘elementary time experiences’, or fundamental aspects of our experience of time. Duration The inference model may be plausible enough when we are dealing with distant events, but rather less so for much more recent ones.
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