Experiencing Real Time: Husserl and the Debate About Tense
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I ask how Husserl's phenomenological investigations into time-consciousness can contribute to the contemporary debate within analytic metaphysics about the reality of the passage of time. I contend that Husserl's work, despite its radically different starting point, addresses the same basic problem about the intelligibility of time's flow at issue in the analytic debate. I argue that Husserl's sustained reflections on the experience of duration and succession show that the analytic metaphysicians would do well to abandon the strict dichotomy between objective reality and mind-dependence if they want to do justice to the nature of temporal becoming. I also identify shortcomings in Husserl's theory which are revealed in determining its implications for the analytic debate. The result is not only an improved understanding of the contours of the problem of time's flow, but also an appreciation for the surprising confluence of Husserlian phenomenology with a central problem in analytic metaphysics.