Saturday, 7 January 2017

Moving Through Time?

Looking into the four-dimensional spatiotemporal realm from outside it, what would we see? One character suggests that we would see:

"'...the solid shapes what people leave behind them when they move through time.'"
-Alan Moore, Jerusalem (London, 2016), p. 461.

Well, no. So far, we have understood that:

a person comprises a body and a consciousness;
the body does not move along the fourth, temporal, dimension but merely extends in that direction;
the consciousness alone moves in that direction.

This implies a second temporal dimension whether or not this is explicitly acknowledged in the text. Now, the speaker in the passage quoted above speaks as if the entire person, body and consciousness, moves (or perhaps grows?) along the fourth dimension, leaving an extended body behind him. This also would imply a second temporal dimension. Let us differentiate three propositions:

(i) a psychophysical organism extends or (better) endures along the temporal dimension;
(ii) a physical organism extends, and its psyche moves, along the temporal dimension;
(iii) a psychophysical organism grows or expands along the temporal dimension.

(ii) and (iii) require five dimensions whereas (i), which I think is to be preferred, requires only four.

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