The Mental Time Traveller: Considering the Future Consequences of Present Day Behaviours


  • Lisa Murphy School of Applied Psychology, University College Cork, Ireland.



Time cannot be outwardly intuited. These are the words of Immanuel Kant, an 18th century philosopher renowned for his contemplations of the fundamental concepts underlying the entire human experience. Central to Kant’s reasoning is the concept of subjective time, the idea that time is not only an entity to be quantified in the physical sciences, but a subjective experience which can differ across each person, rooting the individual in his or her own mental reality. We all have unique experiences of time. Two individuals can attend the same event, a concert or a party perhaps, and for one of them, time can move extremely quickly, but for the other it can drag on for what seems like an eternity. Time flies when we are having fun and enjoying ourselves, yet feels endless when we are bored or afraid. It is the lens through which we view and experience the world ...