Time and Atemporality

Rory Fox

in Time and Eternity in Mid-Thirteenth-Century Thought

Published in print April 2006 | ISBN: 9780199285754
Published online May 2006 | e-ISBN: 9780191603563 | DOI:

Series: Oxford Theological Monographs

Time and Atemporality

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This chapter examines the criteria which medieval thinkers used to determine whether a particular should be located in time, and the terminology and phrases used to suggest that particulars were outside, beyond, or existing alongside time. There were at least nine factors which 13th century thinkers were inclined to identify as implying temporality, factors which actually identified two broadly different kinds of time. There was time in its most general sense as simply a duration in which particulars undergo successive states and experience decay, and then there was a more precise or more proper sense of time in which the changing states of particulars were thought to be measured by the metric determined by the Primum Mobile. When 13th century figures spoke of particulars as existing outside, above, or with time, they were intending to exclude such particulars from the scope of ‘time’, but were not always clear about which account of time they were referring to.

Keywords: time; temporality; 13th century; Primum Mobile; outside; beyond; alongside

Chapter.  6575 words. 

Subjects: Philosophy of Religion

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