Limit-Forms of Time

Timelessness and the Possibility of Experience

  • Filippo Nobili


To establish what time is, as in Plato’s iconic definition (“moving image of eternity”, Timaeus 37d), one often has to emphasize its relation to what time is not. Time seems to be defined dialectically, in terms of what is not eternal, not extra-temporal, etc. Husserl’s phenomenology as well shows how experience involves several borderline forms of time.  But these sui generis forms of timelessness are for Husserl as many modes of time, they are variations of the same constituent temporality. Time thus presents its dialectical counterparts within itself, rather than being metaphysically drawn ex nihilo from eternity. Allzeitlichkeit, for example, is the capacity of idealities to be in any time; Überzeitlichkeit is the property of the I to function as the focus of appearance in any possible living experience; Zugleichkeit is the proper mode of the a priori of correlation, i.e. the fact that the intertwined processes of Objektivierung and Subjektivierung occur at the same time; Urzeitigung and Selbstzeitigung describe the primordial dimension of the absolute flow of consciousness (Urprozess); finally, Simultaneität and Gleichzeitigkeit refer respectively to the system of sedimented sense (secondary passivity) and to the modality of its reactivation. All these boundary forms do not negate time, but entertain a constitutive relationship with its becoming. Overall, then, Husserl’s view is that of a pluralistic and polyhedric unity of time.


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How to Cite
Nobili, F. (2024). Limit-Forms of Time. Critical Hermeneutics, 8(special), 169-179.