Jean Francois Meraz-Debraine

English and Philosophy

Taking several fascinating philosophy classes inspired Jean Meraz-Debraine to pursue his research into the metaphysics of time. His project gave him the opportunity to explore the subject in great depth and to work closely with a highly accomplished professor. The significant work, deadlines and requirements made Jean’s project feel pressing and important. He completed the project confident that he had made a serious academic contribution as an undergraduate. Jean is now a law student at Cornell Law School, and he credits his philosophy education and research opportunities with helping him get there.triangle.gif (504 bytes)




The aim of this paper is to properly frame the metaphysical debate on time and temporal reality as one that must engage three accounts of “time”: (1) time as experienced, the subject of phenomenological analysis; (2) time as mathematized, as described by physics and mathematics; and (3) actual outer time, the substance that renders change in the world possible. Brief introductions to the contemporary debate on the metaphysics of time and Husserl’s phenomenological account of time-consciousness are included as distinct sections prior to the primary argument. If one accepts accounts (1) and (2) as mere (compatible) representations of (3), I argue one is able to free the debate from tendentious arguments about mathematics, semantics, and human experience that have historically stalled and misled its progress.triangle.gif (504 bytes)

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Faculty Mentor                                                                                                                

David W. Smith

School of Humanities

Jean Meraz-Debraine’s paper takes a new approach to the classic question of the nature of time. Rather than treating each of the different accounts of time as mutually exclusive, he carefully and meticulously constructs an argument that they are all compatible within a single reality. His impressive work demonstrates the remarkable insights that undergraduate researchers can bring to their areas of study.triangle.gif (504 bytes)

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