Dialetheism in the Structure of Phenomenal Time

Shores C. M.



In practice, phenomenology is an investigation of one's own consciousness bymeans of introspective awareness. Nonetheless, it can be considered a special sort of science, given that it obtains its data using a rigorous methodology. On the basis of these data, phenomenologists can devise "models" that describe the structures of consciousness. Husserl in fact thought that even the forms of logical judgments can be traced to more basic structures of consciousness. After examining the way that he locates the origin of negation in experiences of phenomenal "disappointment," which result in part from the layered structure of time-constituting consciousness, we turn to Barry Dainton's construction of models of the specious present. One type that is built upon Husserl's writings is a "retentional" model where the objective present is a simple instant, but all the while other recent moments have stacked up in retentional awareness to create the illusion of a present with a durational thickness. In Dainton's own rival "extensional" model, however, the present really does extend for a duration of about a second or so, and all the moments that seem present in fact are. At the end I propose a model of the specious present that is based on Graham Priest's spread hypothesis. It does not vindicate dialetheism; rather, it is merely built upon the assumption that we directly perceive dialetheias of motion. It is both retentional and extensional, since in it the actual present of our conscious activity has a very tiny extensive spread, all while recent prior spreads stack up in our retentional awareness to create the impression of an enduring present. This model has the advantages of explaining the continuity of phases in the specious present while also accounting for experiences of phenomenal disappointment.