This is the first general theory of time-consciousness and social experience ever developed.
Time-consciousness—long a shared objective of philosophy and social thought—is key to understanding different cultures and their cognitive adaptation to one another. Warren D. TenHouten's remarkable book achieves this goal by providing a bold and original three-level theory of time-consciousness, its neurocognitive basis, and social organization. Using classical and contemporary ethnographies of Australian Aborigines and Euro-Australians to support his theory, TenHouten shows how involvement in hedonic sociality—emphasizing equality and community—leads to time that is cyclical, present oriented, and more generally natural; whereas agonic sociality—based on inequality and agency—leads to time that is linear, future oriented, and more generally rational.
Warren D. TenHouten is Professor of Sociology at the University of California at Los Angeles.