The Enigma Of The Universe ► 4 ►A Critique ► II. Space & Time: A Critique ► 1. Views of Western Philosophers and the Jain View ► Concept of Time

Posted: 07.01.2015

Just as there prevails dissension amongst the philosophers about the concept of space, so also there are diverse views of philosophers about time. Nevertheless, many of them except a few do not consider time as an independent reality. Again, as far as the view is concerned, there is a slight dissension in the two traditions-Shvetambara and Digambara. The former has not given ‘time’ the status of an independent objective reality; it only considers it to be the modes of other real substances like soul, pudgala etc. Thus, although it is not a subjective reality, it does not enjoy the status of an independent reality. Of course, the Digambara tradition propounds that the time in the form of “time-atoms” (kālāṇus) is an independent objective reality which has a real existence. Now, when we compare the Jain view with other philosophical views, we find that the Shvetambara view is much near to the views of many Western philosophers who do not consider time as an independent reality. But when we go in details, we find differences in their view. For example, Kant does not consider time as an objective reality, but believes it to be a product of our a priori intuition. But the Shvetambara tradition propounds time to exist in the form of modes of the real substances, which are also real and not the products of a priori intuition. Thus, in the Jain view time is not a subjective reality as Kant believes. Even the common sense experience cannot accept time as a priori existence, since time is conceived only after actual experience of real change. in the object.

When we compare the view of scholastic philosophers with the Jain view, we find that there is lot of resemblance between them. Then main difference is regarding the reality whereas the Jain view does not depict time as a mere product of mind, the concept of time in scholasticism though based on real facts does not believe in the existence of time anywhere else than in our mind.

The concept of time in the philosophy of Leibnitz and others is akin to that of the modern science. So, it would be better to consider it together with the scientific outlook. (See, infra p. 284).

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Title: The Enigma Of The Universe

Publisher: JVB University Ladnun

English Edition: 2010

HN4U Online Edition: 2014

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