Immanuel Kant´s Idea of Time vs. Norbert Elias Critique on his conception

Por • 29 sep, 2014 • Sección: Filosofía

Wolfgang Theis

Abstract: In his Critique of Pure Reason, Kant describes time as the formal condition on which all phenomena are based upon. He considers it as a one-dimensional subject, that is not an empirical perception, which is given a priori and nothing else but the form of an inner sense. Elias contradicts this, as he differentiates between a social time and a physical time. He demands an understanding for the relation between time in ’society’ and in ’nature’. Elias states that languages (he specifically mentions German) often don’t have a word that would be equivalent to the English term “timing». For Elias ’time’ is part of the fifth dimension, the dimension of symbols, of experience, of awareness. Only this makes it possible to find out and know what time really is in a social context, a specific synthesis of occurrences, that has to be learned in higher developed societies that are based on the division of labour. Elias mentions ’time’, but he states that it’s only a synchronisation of positions in the seriatim of events.

Keywords: Kant; Elias; time.

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