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Article

Time Scales of Observation and Ontological Levels of Reality

Axiomathes. 2010. Vol. 20. No. 4. P. 439-460.

My goal is to conceive how the reality would look like for hypothetical creatures that supposedly perceive on time scales much faster or much slower that of us humans. To attain the goal, I propose modelling in two steps. At step we have to single out a uni“ed parameter that sets time scale of perception. Changing substantially the value of the parameter would mean changing scale. argue that the required parameter is duration of discrete perceptive frames, snapshots, whose sequencing constitutes perceptive process. I show that different standard durations of perceptive frames is the ground for differences in perceptive time scales of various animals. Abnormally changed duration of perceptive frames is the cause of the effect of distorted subjective time observed by humans under some conditions. Now comes step two of the modelling. By inserting some arbitrary duration of a perceptive frame, we set a hypothetical scale and thus emulate viewpoint for virtual observation of the reality in a wider or narrower angle embracing events in time. Like changing lenses of a microscope, viewing reality different temporal scales makes certain features of reality manifested, others veiled. These are, in particular, features of life. If we observe an object in an inappropriate interval, we may not notice the very essence of a process it is undergoing.