Frasers Interdisciplinary Time

THEORY. The American philosopher and independent scholar Julius Thomas Fraser (1923- ) is a leading contemporary figure in the interdisciplinary study of time, and his original theoretical contribution to time study is the idea that one must abandon the search for the "ultimate clock" and, instead, begin to conceptualize time as a hierarchy of different, but deeply interconnected, temporalities. Whereas time has been understood, typically, as the agent of change (i.e., time is what a clock measures), Fraser maintains that time, itself, is dynamical. Also, Fraser asserts that the "correct" model for time is that of an evolutionary hierarchical model consisting of more and more complex temporalities where the focus of attention goes beyond the simple dialectic between human subjective time and quantified public time (such as indicated in the earlier time theories of Henri Bergson, Edmund Hussert, and Marcel Proust who emphasize the "flows" and "eddies" of internal time consciousness without reference to other forms of temporality). Essentially, Fraser offers a five-level hierarchical theory of time, and associated causality, focusing on the following levels: no temporality (noetic inten-tionality); biotemporal (the temporal reality or "nowness" of living organisms), eotemporal (the time of the universe of large-scale matter; the physicist's "t"); prototemporal (the time of elementary objects such as photons and quarks); and atemporal ("black hole" time with no mode of causality). Fraser (1978) also discusses the notion of "chronons" as the basic "atoms" of time, including the theoretical concepts of physical, physiological, and perceptual chronons. See also TIME, THEORIES OF.

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