Provost Distinguished Professor of Philosophy at Loyal University, New Orleans
Drawing on the work of American Pragmatics - particularly that of C. S. Peirce, W. James, J. Dooley, C. I. Lewis, and C. H. Meade - Rosenthal explored the dual nature of time as discrete and continuous, and the reality of science time as opposed to lived time. Rosenthal's most explicit statement of the implications of a pragmatic philosophy for our perception of time is that any "Structure comes out of perception and usage, not as they are absolutely." Thus, she turns to the pragmatist's notion of reality as a mediated experience. There is a world out there to be interpreted, and that is an objective truth. There must be something fundamental to be perceived. But our understanding of that objective world is a subjective one, mediated by our ability - both natural and cultural - to perceive it. Time, therefore, is not absolute in its nature, but contingent upon human participation in science or in our more quotidian experiences.