Seeing the future (1)

If I say “I see where X will happen” I can mean three things: (a) I’m looking at some place where X isn’t happening and forming a judgment that it will happen (b) I’m looking at some representation of the place – maybe even a slick video presentation that shows X happening and again forming a judgment that it will happen or (c) I’m imagining the whole thing and am in fact not looking at anything related to X but still forming a judgment it will happen.

Now if the future is distinctly seen then one sees where it will happen, and so for us this will be some judgment about the future. This judgment is based on a causal inference that we either know ourselves or accept on testimony. If based on what we know ourselves, it will take part in all the fallibility that our own knowledge does. But what if we hypothesized a judgment that “X will happen” that was based on direct knowledge or intuition? Direct knowledge is had only when a thing is happening, and so such a knowledge would see X when it was happening. But in order for X to be described as something that will happen, it must be compared to something existing now, though previous to X. One and the same act of knowledge must therefore simultaneously exist at different times.

But “to simultaneously exist at different times” is either an equivocation or a contradiction, since different times are non-simultaneous. If our hypothesis of direct intuition is true, we need new definitions of “simultaneous” and therefore also of terms like “before” and “after”.


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