Temporal Subitizing and Temporal Counting: a Proposal between Vision and Action


  • Andrea Roselli Università Degli Studi Roma Tre




How is our temporal experience possible? When we hear a song, we are aware that every note is before and after another note (and that’s how we remember it), but we also ’experience-as-present’ more than one note at a time. To answer this question, I suggest an analogy with the difference drawn, in the spatial case, between the two different mechanisms of counting and ’subitizing’ (the immediate visual capture of a certain number of items as a single object). My proposal is to identify two different mechanisms even in the temporal case: a temporal counting, a coconscious experiential ’single look’ of a temporal interval; and a temporal subitizing, an atomic storing operation which organizes every event in a mathematical, point-like sequence. These two mechanisms are taken to be operative always and together; we never cease to store the events encountered in a temporal line, but we also experience a subgroup of them as present.

Author Biography

Andrea Roselli, Università Degli Studi Roma Tre

Since 2016: PhD candidate at Leibniz University Hannover. - 2014-2015: MSc in Science, Technology, and Society at University College London. - 2011-2014: BA in Philosophy at University of Milan.