Essay Time Heraclitus

Submitted By jjeames
Words: 1726
Pages: 7

The idea that you can have no such thing as moments in time is not possible in a human world. In Heraclitus' work he presents an understanding of time in which you have four basic premises: 1) That ‘X equals X’ at T1, meaning that X exists at a moment in time, hence being. 2) That time is infinitely divisible. 3) That because time is infinitely divisible you can have no ‘moments in time’ because for everything that you label a moment you will be able to further divide that moment. 4) That because you cannot have any moments in time at no time can ‘X equal X’ which results in a world not of being but in a world of becoming. While this is logically correct in the sense that all the premises accurately reflect a logical conclusion we are concerned with presenting the accuracy of these premises in the first. Heraclitus uses the metaphor of a river to explain his ideas about the constant flux of the world and the constant change that takes place. Plato notes that according to Heraclitus, it is impossible to step into the same river twice. By this he means that the river is constantly changing and that the person entering the river would never be able to step into the same water twice, for this water would have been removed down river and replaced by new water. In order for this to be possible he stands in support of an ever changing world with no definable moments in time. This ever-changing phenomenon is not without faults, among them assumptions that time takes place regardless of humans and disregarding the fact that time and its divisibility is contingent upon the constructs usefulness to humans.
In order for this ever-changing world to be rational it must be exhibited by physical matter held in a vacuum otherwise this pretense does not hold up well in the physical world. We shall start with the first premise. ‘X equals X’. This premise may come across as straightforward but must be explained here for it has implications on the rest of the argument. The statement of ‘X equals X’ is a statement of Being while ‘X does not equal X’ stands to mean that the item is nonexistent. Unlike statements of Becoming, Being implies that at a specified time, T1, a physical item actually existed whether in a physical or metaphysical form. This is juxtaposed to a statement such as Heraclitus' that we live in an ever-changing world. His world view is a clear statement in favor of Becoming in which we take a relative existence dependent upon what is exerting power upon us and the setting that we find ourselves in. According to Heraclitus, at all times then we are simply Becoming with no moment of Being. Quite backward I think.
The second premise of the argument is that time is infinitely divisible. The idea of having time being infinitely divisible is not useful to humans. Because, as will be displayed below, time is relative and dependent upon humans for existence, time is simply a creation that we utilize because it is convenient and advantageous for us to do so. The idea that you can have no moments in time is not possible in a human world. If, as has been presented, time is infinitely divisible then it would be true that you can have no moments in time. However, in order for items and objects to interact with each other there must be a specified time, relative to the participants, at which two things come into contact. Therefore time must not be infinitely divisible, for time is relative to the object taking part in an action and is therefore a mere imposition of an abstract, unrealistic idea upon physical items. Therefore we must consider time as an abstract idea and decide if it is: Dependent or Independent, Relative or not. Let us first begin by examining the relativity of time.
It is my understanding that time is relative to the participants in a given situation and that time is imposed upon items through their relation to those who witness the event. In the cases of black holes we, who are not entering a black hole but observing