One beginning philosophical dungeon for those low-level adventurers who have not even aquired their first “+2 to Avoiding Category Mistakes” item is to explore how temporality is conceived in materialist/objective and idealist/subjective worldviews. Materialists will always tend to give some kind of ontological primacy to “past” and “future,” or at least to “past.” They may even introduce you to the problem of the specious present. It’s never really “now” because, if you pay close enough attention, you’re just anticipating something that hasn’t come yet, and once it’s come, it’s already happened. Try it. Lift your hand and let it fall as you say “now!” It’s… now! now!… NOW! See how hard it is? Crazy, crazy materialists might even try to tell you that because all thought is just a subjectified manifestation of chemical activities in your brain, and these reactions necessarily take some amount of time, it’s readily clear through scientific investigation that “present” is an illusion.
On the other hand, subject-oriented folks, case in point here, Husserl, tend to concentrate on “present.” It’s ALWAYS now, and we clearly only experience “past” as some kind of re-presentation (in the present) and “future” is an illusion except as anticipation (in the present).
For my part, I tend to focus my critical efforts toward incorporating conflicting ideas comfortably somewhere along the dipole. I try to be to philosophy what Unitarians are to Christianity. Which is why I love the Three-Tense Temporal Existence. When people are being absurdly objectivist I like to get them to agree that there’s no such thing as the present, and then make an argument for how there has to be such a thing as the present that they can’t refute. When I don’t feel like telling them that they only exist in my mind, I do a corresponding maneuver on really out-there subjectivists. When you make extravagant claims to me about the nature of immediately accessible reality you get pwnt, and it serves you right.
Three-Tense Temporal Existence: 10/10