Someone asked a question about my prior post "What Is Not a Process," wherein I make some comments about process and temporality. My response, which is really a musing upon the question since I was not given enough information to understand the question, is below. It includes noting different conceptions of temporality and why processive phenomenological temporality is so difficult ... and why I need to read more.
Perhaps I am saying that our conceptions are too rigid, but it also depends on what concepts you have in mind. Commonsense conceptions tend to "spatialize" time, which is to think of them in terms of duration and discrete units. Instead, I poeticize time as change and relativity, since I am trying to think both processional and phenomenological time. Let me explain, especially since I did not add that portion of my book, and I would like to think this more clearly.
This might not answer your question, in which case you might need to repeat and clarify, especially since I do not know your background and I am presuming a lot. As for a “statement of belief on your part,” I do not know what you mean. I am working on a temporal logic for my work that is years away from completion, and these are skeleton arguments. I am an academic and philosopher, and this is what we do. My practical application is to explain how it is that if we cannot imagine something, then we cannot experience it as meaningful. To begin….
Conceiving temporality as a commonsense notion, it is past, present, and future; it is a succession or series. This is a static conception because it treats the relation of each moment of the triad as fixed, e.g., past-to-present is always the same, and it is like thought to be little difference from present-to-future. This presumes symmetry.
If we take another step, we may conceive time as ontological. The past is fully actual or being, the present is indeterminate and becoming, and the future is the possible or telic. We need to combine this ontological conception with the preceding logical conception to think temporal process.
Taking another step, conceiving time as temporal process is the think the whole of past-present-future and not treat past-to-present as a part separate from present-to-future. Moreover, we might recognize a linear asymmetry between past-to-present and present-to-future. That is, the relation is no longer succession, but a constitutive relation: the present contains the past as a ground for the inchoate now. While the past is fully actual, the now is a field of activity generative of future possibilities that are in no way actual. However, the pattern of activity in the now opens or closes future possibilities, and this relation of present-to-future is not the same as past-to-present. The complete event is the whole of past, present, and future as well as how they relate. We now include the relations as part of the event, whereas succession was taken for granted in the commonsense notion.
Let us take a final step to conceive phenomenological processive temporality. The invocation of phenomenology adds two among many changes. First, the perspective shifts to present-past-future, since the phenomenon is always present (though it need not be given as present), yet the biological process that generates a phenomenon remains past-present-future. This greatly affects the second point. Second, rather than a unilateral asymmetric temporal relation, the relations are bilateral asymmetric. These are the examples I originally posted. Hence, we have present to past (becoming in light of the actual), present-to-future (what might be in light of what is), or future-to-present (what may be in light of the possible). This last is the nature of the hypothetical, which Peirce and especially Dewey took to be the very nature of thought.
This last one is extremely difficult to think, and I suggest reading my recent article in the Transactions of the C.S. Peirce society as a start. The problem, if I may put it simply, is that we have simultaneous biological and first-person conscious processes operating that are influencing each other, the biological is prior in the asymmetry, and consciousness does not represent the biological process. Ha, simply. I guess I failed at simple. Let me try again not-simply.
From a metaphysical standpoint, we think in a past-present-future orientation. From a phenomenological one, we think present-past-future. The past is the source of meaning, the present is the site of interpretation, and the future is the projection of a present interpretation as meaningful. That is, we experience the present as meaningful only insomuch as it is familiar and composed of past associations. Yet doing so is a present interpretation of the past that we experience as meaningful only by projecting what the past might mean now, i.e., the anticipated future. Yep, still not-simple.
I am working through Americanist concepts (Peirce, James, Dewey, Royce, and Hartshorne) supplemented with Husserl and Heidegger, and I made the post because the proposal is incomplete. Even those name have far more to contribute to my working-through the problem. I am still trying to grasp temporal ecstasis in Heidegger—too many things engaging my time.