What are time and space?

PhiloTalk Forums Subjects Philosophy Epistemology Philosophy of Science What are time and space?

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    There is a view that time and space exist as a framework within which objects move around, and that they would exist even if there were no objects. One of the conclusions that holders of this view often seem to reach is that the universe must be both temporally and spatially infinite. They argue that it is illogical to say otherwise.

    Another school of thought is that time and space are abstractions, meaningful only in terms of the objects whose behaviours they are used to describe. According to this view, putting it in purely ontological terms, time is change. No change: no time. Putting it more epistemologically, time is the thing which clocks (in the most general sense of that word) measure. No clocks (in the most general sense of that word): no time. According to this view time and space are only meaningful to the extent that the universe is full of moving objects. An empty universe (according to this view) would have no time or space. The universe need not be temporally or spatially infinite.

    Do you subscribe to either of these two views, or to some hybrid of the two? Or do you take a completely different view?

    Stephen HowellStephen Howell


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