Introduction – The enigma of being-in-time
The argument of this book is that we live in different times. This con-tention is made up of two claims, for it describes our sense that we do not experience time in only one fashion, as well as the idea that the study of different cultures assures us that others have conceptions of time unlike our own. This book follows both of these lines of argument to assert that time is the great unsaid in western historical thought precisely because it is more complicated than we might at first think; time is plural in the sense that we experience it in different ways and in the manner that we know that others live in temporal cultures that are not predicated on our basic assumptions about time. The very act of thinking hard about time becomes a form of liberation in which we disabuse ourselves of the idea that our picture of the world is a natural one that is shared by all others.