This book is the only contemporary, systematic study of the relationship of time and conscious experience. Peter K. Mclnerney examines three tightly interconnected issues: how we are able to be conscious of time and temporal entities, whether time exists independently of conscious experience, and whether the conscious experiencer exists in time in the same way that ordinary natural objects are thought to exist in time. Insight is drawn from the views of major phenomenological and existential thinkers on these issues.
Building on a detailed explication and critique of the views of Kant, Husserl, Heidegger, and Sartre, Mclnerney develops and defends his own positions. He argues that a revised version of Husserl’s three-feature theory of time-consciousness provides the best explanation of our awareness of temporal features, but that an independently real time is necessary to explain our experience of temporal passage. He also shows that human existence has some special temporal features in addition to those it shares with other entities. Time-consciousness, the conscious exercise of powers, and personal identity through time require that any temporal part of human existence be defined by and "reach across" to earlier and later parts.
"This is a sophisticated, scholarly study that is distinctive in the ways it combines a philosophical analysis of time with an analysis of modern phenomenology and these, in turn, with the author's independent approach toward explaining 'the special temporality of human beings.' ... A fine piece of work."
—Gerald E. Myers
"McInerney manages to avoid virtually all of the problems that have increasingly isolated the phenomenology of 'time-consciousness' from correlative developments in cognitive science and the philosophy of space-time. The book is not limited to an exegesis of what the 'great masters' have had to say on the topic, though McInerney does offer brief lucid interpretations of Kant, Husserl, Heidegger, and Sartre.... Recommended."
"This is a truly commendable piece of work. It incorporates solid scholarship, is carefully argued, and is often insightful. Mclnerney has written an important book that is a significant contribution to the development of the philosophy of time."
—Charles M. Sherover, Hunter College, CUNY