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The Origin and Genesis of Experience of Space and Time -From the Perspective of Information
1  International center of philosophy of information of Xi 'an Jiaotong University


The research approach to space-time in western tradition is more of a metaphysical way, which is attached to explore the nature of space-time. The representative school of the study of experience of space-time in modern is phenomenology. In ancient china, the issue of space-time is always related to the “Between heaven and man”, which is one of the most basic problem of chinese philosophy.

Since ancient times, discussion on the issue of space-time is mainly focused on such aspects: What is the nature and attribute of the space-time? What is the relationship between space-time and material or it’s movement? What is the relationship between space-time and consiousness? And what is the relationship between space and time?

While, different from the ancient metaphysical research approach,the phenomenological reduction method was applied by Husserl to pursuing an original experience of space-time, which he called the “Intrinsic time consciousness”. In addition to, the other two representatives of phenomenology, Heidegger and merleau-ponty are also studied the problem of space-time.However, no matter husserl’s intrinsic time or Heidegger’s survival time or merleau-ponty’s embodied time, were all paid attention to only one aspect of the genesis and occurance of experience of space-time, and ignored the other aspects.

There are also lots of studies about the issue of space-time in chinese philosophy. From the pre-qin period to the end of the Han dynasty, from Wei-jin period to song dynasty and dynasties of ming and qing, a large number of philosophers had expounded the issue, including Lao-zi, Zhuang-zi, Mo-zi, Wang-bi, Zhu-xi, Zhang-zai, Fang-yizhi, Wang-fuzhi and so on ,they all have different understandings about space-time. The grasp to experience of space-time is more intuitive and fuzzy in chinese philosophy.

Based on the thinking of globalization, informatization, networking, as well as the current situation of human existence, The study found that all of these changes in a certain sense, is the change of space-time form of human existence, and at the same time, such a change is also points to the change of the whole human society. Therefore, the exploration to the most fundamental phenomenon that reflect the change of human society, namely space-time phenomenon, become particularly important.

Through the introduction of the concept of information, the study to the formation of experience of space-time should be dual dimensions. From the prospective of the process and mechanism of the occurrence of current congnition, individual present experience of space-time is emerges from interaction of various phenomena including physical phenomenon, information phenomenon,and phenomena of consciousness. From the perspective of historical genetic mechanisms of congnition, the emergence and development of human experience in space-time is accompanied by its own evolution of structural pattern of physical, mental and behavior. This kind of physiological, psychological, behavioral evolution is a holographic process.

This research project regards the generation of experience of space-time as a continuous and generative process, study with a comprehensive, multi-dimensional perspective rather than a single, one-dimensional perspective, which could deepen the study of temporal and spatial issues, at the same time, rethinking it’s impact on the way of human existence.

References and Notes

  1. WU Kun: Philosophy of information—Theory, system and method. The commercial press. 2005.
  2. Husserl, E. Zur Phanomenologie des inneren Zeitbewuβtseins [1893-1917]. Hsg. von R. Boehm, 1966.
  3. Heidegger, M. Being and Time. London: SCM Press LTD, 1962.
  4. Merleau-Ponty. Phenomenology of Perception. Routledge; 2nd Revised Edition [2002-05-03].
Keywords: Information Space Time