Take it as given that the past is that which is remembered and the future is what is anticipated. Now let me play around with a time machine. I set it back twenty years, and then anticipate the past; I come back from a trip to the future and I remember what I saw.
So what does this tell us about time now?
It seems to show that the physical time that ticks way on clocks or that comes and goes with the rise and fall of the sun or the beating of a heart, and which multiplies the world into numbered days and years, is only materially time. But this makes both Newton’s absolute time, or the time of Einstein’s “loaf of space-time” only materially time. By “only materially” I mean that these things only provide the ingredients for time, but of themselves they are not what we mean by it. They are not of themselves time even though they enter into its interior constitution.
Objection: the time of consciousness is a clock like anything else: a succession of brain states, a series of thoughts had for some interval, etc.
Response: time in consciousness – for both human and non-human animals – is not a clock-time. Logical progressions, for example, do not have time of themselves, sc. a syllogism with four premises does not take a longer time to reach its conclusion than one with two; and there is no clock within the imagination that allows us to relate two imagined things in time just as there is no standard length within the imagination that allows us to measure the size of two things imagined. Again, just as a triangle in the imagination need not be large or small since it need not be put in relation to another to be known in this way, so too there is no large or small time for the same reason.