Does the past exist ?

So what's really going on?

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duszek
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Does the past exist ?

Post by duszek » Mon Mar 28, 2016 3:28 pm

And if not:

Did it exist ?

And if so: where does it exist ? or where did it exist ?

Dalek Prime
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Re: Does the past exist ?

Post by Dalek Prime » Mon Mar 28, 2016 6:20 pm

Does the future? Because we are the future's past. So if the past exists, then we are part of it from a future vantage point. So, either all time exists now, or just now has any solidity.

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Harbal
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Re: Does the past exist ?

Post by Harbal » Mon Mar 28, 2016 6:25 pm

duszek wrote:And if not:

Did it exist ?

And if so: where does it exist ? or where did it exist ?
I think it's the answer to the question that doesn't exist.

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Re: Does the past exist ?

Post by duszek » Mon Mar 28, 2016 6:53 pm

The answer to the question does not exist yet but if we make one then it will exist.

What is it that we call "past" ?

It could be a constellation of physical facts that was some time ago and is no more now.

duszek
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Re: Does the past exist ?

Post by duszek » Mon Mar 28, 2016 6:55 pm

Dalek Prime wrote:Does the future? Because we are the future's past. So if the past exists, then we are part of it from a future vantage point. So, either all time exists now, or just now has any solidity.
So for you "past" is a sort of time ?

In that case: can we say that the year 2011 existed five years ago ?

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Harbal
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Re: Does the past exist ?

Post by Harbal » Mon Mar 28, 2016 7:14 pm

Some people think that past, present and future all exist simultaneously. Then there's the school of thought that doesn't think that. There's also the school of thought that thinks something completely different from the previous two schools and, to complicate things even further, there are all the miscellaneous schools that believe all sorts of fantastic ideas. So, before we can begin to address the question, we need to establish which of these schools we are going to take our idea of "past" from. Personally, I tend towards the second school but the third also has a credible argument.

Impenitent
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Re: Does the past exist ?

Post by Impenitent » Mon Mar 28, 2016 7:23 pm

which past? the one in your memory? the one in his memory? the one in her memory?

and no, they are not the same...

-Imp

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Harbal
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Re: Does the past exist ?

Post by Harbal » Mon Mar 28, 2016 7:49 pm

Impenitent wrote:which past? the one in your memory? the one in his memory? the one in her memory?
You need to make your mind up. Who's memory are we going to examine? Just to narrow it down, it's not going to be mine.

duszek
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Re: Does the past exist ?

Post by duszek » Mon Mar 28, 2016 7:50 pm

Mr Impenitent:

Do you assume that a past exists in a person´s memory ?
So everybody who has heard of Henry VIII and in that way remembers him keeps a particular version of this past in his memory ?

duszek
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Re: Does the past exist ?

Post by duszek » Mon Mar 28, 2016 7:56 pm

Harbal wrote:Some people think that past, present and future all exist simultaneously. Then there's the school of thought that doesn't think that. There's also the school of thought that thinks something completely different from the previous two schools and, to complicate things even further, there are all the miscellaneous schools that believe all sorts of fantastic ideas. So, before we can begin to address the question, we need to establish which of these schools we are going to take our idea of "past" from. Personally, I tend towards the second school but the third also has a credible argument.
I deduce from your kind contribution:

Past, present and future do not exist simultaneously. (second school of thought)

Let´s focus on this one.
So past exists in the past.

The word "past" could have two different meanings in this sentence.

Past events exist in the past period of time.

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Harbal
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Re: Does the past exist ?

Post by Harbal » Mon Mar 28, 2016 8:11 pm

duszek wrote: Past, present and future do not exist simultaneously. (second school of thought)
I don't see why they couldn't. That was the first school of thought, by the way.
Let´s focus on this one.
So past exists in the past.
Ah, the past in the past school. Some people think this view a little outdated, it was certainly more prevalent in the past but, subject to our enquiries, that does not necessarily mean it no longer exists.
Past events exist in the past period of time.
I don't think we should bring time into this, it will only complicate things.

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Re: Does the past exist ?

Post by Impenitent » Mon Mar 28, 2016 11:46 pm

duszek wrote:Mr Impenitent:

Do you assume that a past exists in a person´s memory ?
So everybody who has heard of Henry VIII and in that way remembers him keeps a particular version of this past in his memory ?
I assume similar things in other human minds, then again, I can not prove that other minds exist...

but I have a recollection of past events in my current existence...

Henry VIII is a character in a story... his-story, but no more than a character...

of course, I'm her eighth old man, I'm Henry, Henry the Eighth, I am...

-Imp

Dalek Prime
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Re: Does the past exist ?

Post by Dalek Prime » Tue Mar 29, 2016 12:29 am

duszek wrote:
Dalek Prime wrote:Does the future? Because we are the future's past. So if the past exists, then we are part of it from a future vantage point. So, either all time exists now, or just now has any solidity.
So for you "past" is a sort of time ?

In that case: can we say that the year 2011 existed five years ago ?
Yes, to function properly, being as I am accustomed to marking time, I work on a straight vector timeline. 2011 was five orbits around our sun.

Obvious Leo
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Re: Does the past exist ?

Post by Obvious Leo » Tue Mar 29, 2016 5:48 am

This question properly belongs in a language comprehension class for pre-schoolers rather than in a philosophy forum for grown-ups.

Present: That which is in a state of existence.

Future: That which is not yet in a state of existence.

Past: That which is no longer in a state of existence.

As always I stand willing to help out with any further questions relating to the bloody obvious.

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Re: Does the past exist ?

Post by Dontaskme » Tue Mar 29, 2016 9:53 am

There is only the here and now, an eternal blank canvas, upon which the story of life is written with water-colour paint upon an ever flowing river........

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