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Intentionality and the Experience of Time

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This paper explores the experience of time from the perspective of a concept of intentionality derived from Thomas Aquinas. As action directed at some future goal is determined by memorial categories, intentionality contains within it reference to past and future time. Meaning is achieved through action into the world and in turn the self is altered by that action. As the world is essentially an unlabeled place, we organize experience by means of memorial categories. Memorial categories serve as relatively stable templates, modified by the recontextualization that follows from novel experiences. Thus, the sense of the permanence of the past, that gives time its direction, is a construction of our brain. The now moment of experience is not emotionally neutral; our relation between past and future time is mediated by means of feeling rhythmic synchrony, keeping in time with the other provides the earliest medium for emotional bonding.


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