Scientific article

A Historical Epistemology of Time: From Technology to Representations

ContributorsRatcliff, Marc
Published inEstudios de psicología, vol. 23, no. 1, p. 17-27
Publication date2002

This paper attempts to link the social history of the mechanization of time with the history of the psychological concept of time. Historical processes such as the mechanization of tower clocks since the Middle Ages, the reform of the Gregorian calendar, and the struggle between the Christian and Chinese calendars have shaped the modern representation of time in three ways: isochrony, desacralization, and abstraction. While Western societies learned to domesticate the practical aspects of time, Enlightenment scholars naturalized time. They viewed it as a concept unique to humans and used quantified time for scientific purposes. Empiricists saw time as a product of the succession of thought, while idealists saw it as a form necessary for human experience. Both trends agreed in removing time from nature and accepted isochrony, desacralization, and abstraction as the necessary basis for the modern concept of time.

  • History of cognition
  • History of time
  • History of psychology
  • Isochrony
  • Mechanization of time
  • Psychology of time
  • Enlightenment
  • Historical epistemology
  • History of technology
Citation (ISO format)
RATCLIFF, Marc. A Historical Epistemology of Time: From Technology to Representations. In: Estudios de psicología, 2002, vol. 23, n° 1, p. 17–27.
Main files (1)
Article (Published version)
  • PID : unige:175298
ISSN of the journal0210-9395

Technical informations

Creation02/28/2024 9:35:31 AM
First validation03/01/2024 8:56:20 AM
Update time03/01/2024 8:56:20 AM
Status update03/01/2024 8:56:20 AM
Last indexation03/01/2024 8:56:40 AM
All rights reserved by Archive ouverte UNIGE and the University of GenevaunigeBlack