Saturday, December 05, 2009

Quote of the Day (12/5/09) (Time Week)

The scientific age, whose chief interest was in material spatial phenomena and process, saw the problem of time wholly in the light—or rather in the darkness—of the problem of space. The concept was subordinated to the space concept. For Descartes, who gave this view of the universe its classical formulations which prevailed for centuries, space is the paramount reality of the physical world; time is merely the consequence of our inability to experience the all-embracing simultaneity of things in space except as a succession. Here, too, time characterizes the imperfect. In our own day the picture has changed. . . . We even hear of a discovery of time, and this is held to be the essential mark of modern thought. . . . Time is [now] recognized as the foundation of all existence; even inanimate matter is shown to be, in its core, vibration, a temporal phenomenon. The concept of time has everywhere taken precedence over the concept of space. Subordinated to no higher concept, time itself, indeed, assumed absolute primacy. To renounce temporality is not to renounce imperfection but rather to renounce true being.
--Victor Zuckenkandl, Sound and Symbol: Music and the External World

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