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Time is the measurement of the passage of events. However, it is broken into earthly segments based on the rotation of the earth and the earth's rotation around the sun. Would this be considered an objective means to measure time?

Is there even an objective way to measure time?

I am writing a science fiction novel set in an objectivist, human society and came across this thought in my brainstorming. I was curious of all of your thoughts.

asked Jun 12 '11 at 23:15

JK%20Gregg's gravatar image

JK Gregg ♦

edited Jun 13 '11 at 00:20

Greg%20Perkins's gravatar image

Greg Perkins ♦♦

You seem to be under the impression that time is a real thing that can be measured. Am I getting this right? If so you may want to check this premise. Time has not been shown to be a real aspect of reality, Einstein's space-time model not withstanding.

(Jun 13 '11 at 02:52) Marnee Dearman ♦ Marnee%20Dearman's gravatar image

Marnee, you seem to be using the concept of time while also calling it into question. (The concept "be" refers to existing now; terms ending in "ing" like "getting" denote concepts of states and actions existing or happening over time; the concept "been" refers to something existing in the past; etc.)

(Jun 13 '11 at 07:52) Greg Perkins ♦♦ Greg%20Perkins's gravatar image

Time is a measurement of motion, a kind of relationship. The unit one picks to perform the measurement can be any instance of the cateogory, and it will be objective for exactly that reason: the unit can be quantitatively related to other instances in the category. (Consider the analogy of being able to objectively use anything having length to measure lengths, like using a hand to measure a horse's height.)

Of course, the real trick is to make the unit of measurement not just objective (because any instance will do for that), but actually useful. For whom? For us! Okay, then we can see why the primary unit for whatever you are measuring will need to be something on a human scale, with other units of measurement for the same thing being derivative and related to that. So an objective, human unit of time measurement will involve motions on a scale accessible to us and our senses. A day is one great place to start, from which you can range up and down.

answered Jun 13 '11 at 00:40

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Greg Perkins ♦♦

This is an excellent answer. I think that some people might not understand that time is, essentially, an aspect of motion: how long a motion takes. For instance, one tick of a clock. Any repeating, consistent motion can be used as a standard which serves as a unit of time. The ability to measure something in terms of a objective, observable standard makes a measurement objective.

(Jun 13 '11 at 12:04) John Paquette ♦ John%20Paquette's gravatar image

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Asked: Jun 12 '11 at 23:15

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Last updated: Jun 13 '11 at 12:08