A hierarchy of reasons for including a discussion of the Political Philosophy of Time in the Oxford Handbook of Philosophy of time.

The Oxford Handbook of Philsophy of Time does not include a discussion of the interconnectedness of politics, history and time. It should discuss:

  1. Prosaically, the hard-wired chronal aspects of constitutions, which are the concrete rulebooks and superstructures of our politics, namely term-limits, campaigning windows, periods of appointments to public offices. The history of such aspects, the reasoning and assumptions underpinning them.
  2. The use of time as a descriptor or limiting factor to decisions, legislation and policies, or to manifesto / platform goals.
  3. More importantly, the psychological influence on politics and human experience of our fluctuating understanding of the likely ‘deadlines’ for the impact or arrival of important existential factors, such as irreversible and harmful climate change, emergence of artificial general intelligence, growth into economic maturity of rival countries, depletion of certain natural resources, probable significant decline of natural resources; hauntingly, the notional frequencies of recurrence of cataclysmic natural disasters.
  4. The social and psychological grounding for our treatment of time in our economic decision-making, which is the intellectual groundwork for much of point 3. The range of scales with which this is viewed, from high-frequency trading to the accumulation of sovereign wealth funds, and the impact on human economic experience of the culturally varying conceptions of time. The intrinsic effect of assumptions about time in human experience, for example the war for our attention / time waged by tech firms, the suffering associated with the use of human time. The utilitarian justification for the undignified abuse of human time.
  5. Philosophical conceptions of time and historical periodisation which provides the context for point 4. Namely, the relations between hard cosmological near-constants and human interpretations of the same.
  6. The relation between commonplace misconceptions of time, humanity’s role or purpose, and philosophies of the past and the future. The use of time in teleological or grand narrative philosophies, materialistic, dialectic, liberal, traditional / religious.
  7. The link, therefore, between philosophical considerations of the present, human action and experience and political processes, which is fundamental.

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