Ken Armstrong wrote:
> One of the many things I liked about my old professor's study of Burnt
> Norton and the other Q's was its explication of the purposely rendered
> false note of the first lines of BN. Strictly speaking, as a moment's
> reflection may reveal, there is no time present. The phrase is a
> contradiction (not a paradox). This exceeds any parameters of Einsteinian
> discussion which, in its figurations, is still time in a bottle, so to speak.
Probably neither a paradox nor a contradiction but merely a curiosity.
Cf. the following two series, which baffled many medieval philosophers:
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 . . .
1 3 5 7 9 11 13 15 17 . . .
The total number of numbers (odd and even) is the same as the total
number of odd numbers (and for that matter, the total number of numbers
divisible by three is equal to the total of all numbers, etc). The
resolution is the definition of an infinite class as a class containing
an infinite number of infinite classes. (This isn't quite precise --
it's been a long time since I messed around with this stuff.)
The non-existence of the present is a curiosity in the same way that
this is a curiosity. Both infinite classes and infinitesimals produce
such apparent weirdness. As E.M. Forster observed 80 years ago,
apologizing for his own mucking about in the matter, very sophisticated
metaphyscians have fallen flat on their face trying to talk about time.
> Ken A.