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04 time & historicity


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Philosophy of Time

Published in: Education
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04 time & historicity

  1. 1. Man as a Historical Being TIME & HISTORICITY
  2. 2. Filipino Philosophy of Time
  3. 3. Filipino Philosophy of Time Filipino time in the popular usage is synonymous with unpunctuality. But being unpunctual or being too early in some instances shows that Filipino has a different time orientation
  4. 4. The Filipino wants to be in harmony with nature through equilibrium- maintenance (pagkakapantay, di pagkakatao). If this balance is upset, the Filipino expects suffering and other forms of misfortune
  5. 5. The insistence on equilibrium (or balance) in human activities is derived from the concept that nature is essentially based on a binary system of relationships: health and illness, hot and cold, male and female, fertile and infertile, and so on. All of these points of reference require a balance of functions or nature falls apart. Harmony is the theme of the universe. Even contradictions—as long as they remain within the pull of their influence—help nature achieve harmony.
  6. 6. An example of this harmony with nature from the viewpoint of health has been the hot and cold syndromes. For the Filipino peasant "health is perceived as a good relationship between man and the surrounding world—in other words, between himself, the people around him, and the natural and supernatural environment."
  7. 7. Westerner has a mastery-over-nature orientation. Nature-for him is a tool which is to be exploited. He therefore tries to make nature serve him by altering the flow of a river, by changing the weather and his genes. He tampers with the balance of nature to the extent that nature rebels in the form of ecological revenge such as polluted rivers, smog, extinction of certain biological species.
  8. 8. In the practical sense, the Westerner—with his mastery-over- nature orientation also wants to be master of time. He can make the night his day. He makes time and not time makes him. But the Filipino instinctively knows that Nature is wiser so that he does not tamper with the ways of nature.
  9. 9. Time may be divided into cosmic time and human time.
  10. 10. Western time in relation to the cosmos is different for the Filipino. For the Westerner cosmic time is linear as revealed in language. The Indo-European languages are characterized by the stress they put on the past, present, and future tenses. COSMIC TIME
  11. 11. Cosmic time is linear because of the Western preoccupation with tense. Time is compared to a river which flows to the sea of eternity. The philosophy of Aristotle on time reflects the linear orientation COSMIC TIME
  12. 12. Time is defined as the "number of movement in respect of 'before' and `after.' " Motion is an attribute of motion. Time is not motion, but the number or measure of motion. Motion is potentially time and becomes such in actuality only when its temporal succession is noted and measured by some sentient creature. COSMIC TIME
  13. 13. Thus time is not a substantial entity which is capable of existing separately from other things: it has no reality independently of the changes that substances undergo. It has being only as an attribute of an attribute of substance. COSMIC TIME
  14. 14. The Western concept of linear time is necessarily associated with space. In other words, time is conditioned by the spaced linearity of past, present, and future. COSMIC TIME
  15. 15. Cosmic time for the Filipino is cyclic, or rather, spiral and dynamic. While the Westerner lobks on time in its lineal progress, the Filipino looks at it in its spiral movement. A coil never returns to the same point. There is progress in spiral motion for the new cycle is not the old cycle. COSMIC TIME
  16. 16. For the Westerner time wasted is gone forever. But for the Filipino there is always tomorrow, a philosophy which is reflected in his maxims. For instance, "Paglipas ng dilim may araw pang darating" (When darkness passes there is still another day) or "May araw pa bukas" (There is still tomorrow). COSMIC TIME
  17. 17. Although time is cyclic for the average Filipino, he also knows its value. Thus the farmer knows that if he does not plant or harvest at a specific time, he will lose his chance for a living. Fishermen know the chances of night fishing. COSMIC TIME
  18. 18. While cosmic time can mathematically be calculated by the earth's movement around the sun, human time is not subject to mathematical calculations. Human time is not oriented to space but to man's consciousness. Human Time
  19. 19. Human Time While the Westerner marks time with a calendar or a watch, the orient marks time in his consciousness. Filipino concept of human time can also be seen as maturation or evolutionary. Thus time is compared to the ripening of a fruit in the expressions, "the fullness of time," "the time is ripe," and so on.
  20. 20. Human Time The Filipino remembers the past in terms of consciousness and not in terms of linear time. One understands why Western-oriented field researchers are puzzled by the answers they get from rural Filipinos about time.
  21. 21. Human Time What time do you turn on your radio in the morning? When the cocks crow for the second time at dawn. How far is the Center from your house? One cigarette. (Meaning one can reach the Center after he has smoked one cigarette). When did you last see a movie in town? That time when the eldest daughter of the barrio captain got married. Can you recall when this barrio was split into two barrios? That was the time when the price of rice went down to 75 centavos a ganta.
  22. 22. If the Western concept of time is linear, then history will also be linear. If time and reality for the Filipino are non-linear or spiral, then history will also be non-linear. Now the non-linear philosophy of history has three explanations or categories: (1)recurrent cosmic cycles, (2)one-grand-cycle patterns of cosmic and human history, and (3)culture cycles as found in twentieth century views
  23. 23. Historicity Man and Historical Action
  24. 24. Human person is a “cross- point”; a point of interaction of various certain lines of events of various levels: physical, interpersonal, social and historical lines of events.
  25. 25. Human person is a point of intersection of natural (physical) events. Principle of conservation of mass and energy - the totality of energy in the world is constant, energy goes from one form to another. The atoms in our body right now date back to the very first origin of our universe. Earth = 50 billion years old Life = 2.5 billion Chordates = 700 million Vertebrates = 500 million Human Being = 250,000 years
  26. 26. This cross-point is of certain quality. Each of us finds himself or herself as a certain gift of nature. You did not design yourself. At certain point of our lives we discover ourselves as of a certain quality, a certain type of cross-point. Your body is a product of nature and it is a particular product of nature.
  27. 27. This cross-point is a conscious cross-point. Man is a cross-point of physical events, and he is conscious of himself as a cross-point. He is conscious of the natural environment that brought him about as a point of intersection of these thread-lines of the world. Since he is conscious, he is also conscious of his limitations and the possibilities that is open for him.
  28. 28. This cross-point is capable of activity. Insofar as you are cross-point of physical events with a certain consciousness of your limitations and possibilities, you are a source of creativity. You are a source whereby from now on future physical lines of events can come together or separate because of you.
  29. 29. Human person is a cross-point of interpersonal events. You and I emerged one day as the fruit of intersection of your father’s and mother’s personal lines of events. Our personalities are shaped to a great extent by the interpersonal lines of events we have before us until now. Again, we are not simply a product of interpersonal lines of event but we are also conscious of it. We are conscious of ourselves as an interpersonal cross-point with certain limitations and possibilities. And since we are conscious, we are therefore a source of activity. We can cause the interaction or separation of future personal lines of events.
  30. 30. Human person is a cross-point of social events. We find ourselves as a social product, a product of many social events in the past that are beyond our control. Whether we like it or not, we can do nothing of what our past has made us. We are already here (French = deje la). And as conscious of our being a social- cross point, we are also conscious of the limitations and possibilities. And hence, we are a source of activities, we have the power to create or break the future social lines of events.
  31. 31. Human person is a point of intersection of historical events. We are a historical product, whether we like it or not; we are born or a certain age, of a certain period of history, not earlier not later. We find ourselves as a fruit of historical lines of events. Because of history, we emerge at a certain period, a certain point and it is not within our control. We realize that as cross-points, we would be other than what we are if history had been different. As we become conscious of ourselves as historical products, we also become aware of the historical possibilities of history that are in us. We become a source of historical creativity.
  32. 32. Human person as a cross-point of himself and his ultimate goal. There is an ultimate element which constitute the human personality, and that the human person’s relation to a certain existential framework whereby he is able to see himself included in some kind of permanent whole, of permanent totality. It can be a form of religion or a cause greater than himself. Human person is a point of intersection between himself and an ultimate framework of meaning. This point of intersection determines the final meaning of human person’s life.
  33. 33. Insofar as we are a point of intersection of all these various kinds of events in all these various levels, you and I can be characterized in one sense in what we might call destiny or fate; on the other hand you and I are also characterized by a certain creativity and, therefore, a certain task or responsibility. Seen as destiny, I am a set of limitations. Seen as a task, I am a set of possibilities. We are products of the past, creators of the future, and the ones who live in the present.