Scientific article
Open access

An epistemological history of time: From technology to representations

ContributorsRatcliff, Marc
Published inEstudios de psicología, vol. 23, no. 1, p. 17-27
Publication date2002
First online date2014-01-23

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 flow 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 time
  • Psychology of time
  • Enlightenment
  • History of psychology
  • Mechanization of time
  • Chinese calendar
  • Isochrony
  • Naturalization of time
Citation (ISO format)
RATCLIFF, Marc. An epistemological history of time: From technology to representations. In: Estudios de psicología, 2002, vol. 23, n° 1, p. 17–27. doi: 10.1174/021093902753535169
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Article (Published version)
ISSN of the journal0210-9395

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