Time for Ontology? The Role of Ontological Time in Anticipation

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    In this contribution, I will argue for an ontological understanding of time as temporality. This, however, implies that in a certain sense being is temporality, by which I mean that (1) on an ontological level temporality is nothing but the process of change, i.e. the dynamic aspect of being in its becoming, changing, and perishing, and (2) that concrete beings are not merely in time, but they are temporal. This leads to the conclusion that actual time is the process of change that becoming beings are, as well as the conclusion that reality is fundamentally temporal as argued by process metaphysicians like Alfred North Whitehead, Henri Bergson, Martin Heidegger, and Gilles Deleuze. The investigation begins with first establishing the methodological difficulties involved in thinking temporality as an ontological feature. In a second step, dynamic ontologies are introduced as the conceptual background best suited to think ontological temporality and their difference to event-ontologies is explained. Finally, the distinction between temporality and linear time is clarified. This introduction of temporality ends with some arguments for the existence of temporality that are inspired by Aristotle’s famous investigations into the nature of time. After having thus introduced temporality as an ontological feature and argued for the existence and relevance of it, its implications for our understanding of the dimensions of time and especially for anticipation are discussed.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)33-47
    Number of pages15
    Issue number1
    Early online date29 Dec 2017
    Publication statusPublished - 15 Feb 2019


    • Anticipation
    • Future
    • Past
    • Process philosophy
    • Temporal ontology

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Mathematics (miscellaneous)
    • Philosophy


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