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Dana:
> A good analogy would be something like this:  You
> are walking down a road (="moving through time").
> Mile marker 7 (="7 o'clock") will be *before* mile
> marker 9 (="9 o'clock")

I feel the need to clarify my "P.S." a bit.

What we're trying to explain is why it's logical to
use the same word ("before") to mean both spacially
in front of and earlier in time.  It is also necessary
to explain why we say things like "the past is
everything before now" and "your future is before
you."

Starting with the spacial concepts only, I have
explained how we can derive the temporal concepts
based on two simple analogies, both of which represent
events as something in a line with the distance
between the observer and the future events getting
smaller.  In one, the observer moves toward the
future events, and in the other, the events move
toward the observer.  The concept of "forward" is
a result of the motion, and is opposite in the two
examples.

As I ponder your example about the mile markers, I'm
left with a few questions, most of which I've already
asked.  Rather than ask them again, let me try
something different.

Time is like walking through a long shopping mall.
You're born at Maceys, then head past Hot Sam's (7 o'
clock) and then by the MenSwearHouse (9 o'clock)
and continue on to Sears at the other end.  In what
way is Hot Sam's before the MenSwearHouse?  For sure
people do say that, but I'm not convinced that this
is a spacial relationship.  It's a temporal one, not
unlike saying "five minutes down the road."

When you say that Hot Sam's is before MenSwearHouse,
you're saying that "if you head down that way, you
will be by Hot Sam's earlier in time than you will
be by MenSwearHouse.  Spacially, one isn't before
the other.  They're next to each other.

If I am correct - that we talk about roads and other
road-like events (like malls and trails) by using
temporal analogies - then we can't use these same
analogies to explain why we talk about time a certain
way.

Another thing I'd like to see explained, which I do
not have an answer for, is why the Aymara use a
different analogy - in which they seem to be walking
backward through this shopping mall or road -- or
perhaps sitting on a bridge watching time flow
downstream.

Related to this, in fact you quoted it as you wrote
the lines I quoted above, is whether it's posisble
to imagine time flowing from left to right. Even with
the Aymara as a counter-example, it can still be said
that it's universal to think of time as front-and-back
and not side-to-side.

Amike salutas,
Thomas/Tomaso ALEXANDER.
www.NightinGael.Net
---Anything below this line is not from Thomas ---


 
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