The term simultaneity is used in a variety of contexts to denote phenomena of “same-time-ness” – in daily life as well as in specific scientific fields like physics, technology, or ergonomics (among many others). However, despite its widespread occurrence, the term does not specify whether the state described is one of mere temporal concurrence or rather of temporal concordance, and therefore whether synchronicity is involved or not; it also does not clarify whether the events perceived as simultaneous are exactly so in every aspect and moment of time, or just at several coinciding moments during a larger time span (as e.g. with concordant beginnings and endings of dance sequences); nor does it explain whether the simultaneous states are all likewise real (in a temporal and local presence) or only potentially or virtually at the same time, as not-yet-actualized superimposed states.
What do we mean when we say that something is happening “at the same time”? How can we define and understand simultaneity before, with and after the theories of relativity and quantum mechanics?While simultaneity and synchronicity are clearly different modes of temporal concurrence, we might ask about how this differentiation is to be defined exactly, and if synchronicity always implies simultaneity as well, or if there can be synchronicity without simultaneity (e.g. synchronous sequences in different times). Furthermore, what kind of temporal concurrence is intrinsic to superimposed states? Which ontological questions arise with regard to superposition? One of the main research interests concerns the problematic questions underlying different theories of temporal concurrence. Do some concepts actually deny the possibility of absolute simultaneity? Do sociological constellations of “same-time-ness” entail political or ethical questions?
This international conference aims to discuss ontological as well as phenomenological concepts of “same-time-ness” from as many disciplines as possible. Although the main focus lies on theories of the 20th and 21st century, a retrospective analytical look into the history of understandings of simultaneity is encouraged as well.
For more information, see the full cfp_concepts of simultaneity. Deadline for submissions 20 June 2015.