Wittgenstein ; S Response To Augustine's Puzzle Of Measuring Time

1329 Words 5 Pages
This essay discusses Wittgenstein’s response to Augustine’s puzzle of measuring time. The paper begins by explaining Augustine`s puzzle. From here the paper explains Wittgenstein’s explanation for the origin of the puzzle, the usage of the wrong definition of measure. The essay, then explains how using the wrong definition leads to the problem. After this the essay gives the rules for measuring time. The paper then concludes that it has been successful in dissolving the puzzle. Augustine’s puzzle proceeds as follows. Augustine notices that as humans we have the capacity to measure intervals of time, as we are able to say how long an interval was . However, he cannot explain how we measure time. The events in time flow from the future into …show more content…
Wittgenstein holds that it is rarely the case that a word has only one meaning. Rather, a word can have many meanings. Philosophical problems arise when we when we treat words as though they have a single meaning. In doing this, we force a single definition of a word onto all cases of the word’s usage. But, this single definition is not applicable to all cases of the word. So there will be cases in which what we are saying will be nonsensical since the definition of the word will not fit with what we are saying. What we are doing then is creating a paradox, since we are using the correct word but what we are saying nonsensical, since the definition doesn’t fit with what we are trying to articulate. This is what Augustine is doing. In trying to measure time, he uses the wrong definition of measure, and as a result creates a paradox for himself. Wittgenstein holds that Augustine is using a variation of measure which refers to measuring lengths rather than a measure that refers to time. Using the right definition of measure should allow for Augustine’s puzzle to be …show more content…
When we are measuring an interval of time, what we are trying to find is the interval’s duration. Now, an interval has a defined beginning and end, and so it has two points that define the area we are measuring. What we are measuring then is the amount of time, which is represented as unit of time such as an hour, which passed between the first point’s occurrence and the second point’s occurrence. Simply put then, duration is equal to the difference between the first and second points’ units of time(d= P2-P1). When we find this amount, we have found the duration, and have thus measured time. So, if I wanted to measure the interval between when I woke up, at say 8:00, to when I went to bed, at say 20:00, then the interval would be equal to twelve hours, since 20-8=12. Thus, to measure time we need to solve for the interval’s

Related Documents