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What Dies? Eternalism and the Afterlife in William James

Jonathan Bricklin


"A luminous and helpful idea is that time is but a relative mode of regarding things; we progress through phenomena at a certain definitive pace, and this subjective advance we interpret in an objective manner, as if events moved necessarily in this order and at this precise rate.  But that may be only our mode of regarding them.  The events may be in some sense in existence always, both past and future, and it may be we who are arriving at them, not they who are happening.  The analogy of a traveler in a railway train is useful; if he could never leave the train nor alter its pace, he would probably consider the landscapes as necessarily successive and be unable to conceive their coexistence … We perceive, therefore, a possible fourth dimensional aspect about time, the inexorableness of whose flow may be a natural part of our present limitations..."

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ISSN: 2153-8212