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An Appearance of Succession Requires a Succession of Appearances



A familiar slogan in the literature on temporal experience is that ‘a succession of appearances, in and of itself, does not amount to an experience of succession’. I show that we can distinguish between a strong and a weak sense of this slogan. I diagnose the strong interpretation of the slogan as requiring the support of an assumption I call the ‘Seems→Seemed’ claim. I then show that commitment to this assumption comes at a price: if we accept it, we either have to reject the extremely plausible idea that experience is as it seems, or we are forced to provide an account of temporal experience that isn’t compatible with the phenomenology. I conclude by noting that the only plausible interpretation of the slogan is the weak interpretation, and outline a positive account of temporal experience, according to which an appearance of succession requires a succession of appearances.