temporal vs. chronological

Discussion in 'General Philosophy' started by Cyrus the Great, Jul 15, 2014.

  1. Cyrus the Great Registered Senior Member

    whatever its particular qualities, each art object was also a sign of its temporal or chronological place in the evolutionary development or progress of
    an individual, group, or society.

    I can not well understand what the sentence means. Would you readily explain it and give me an example, so that I can understand it?

    And, what is the difference between chronological and temporal ?

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  3. Sarkus Hippomonstrosesquippedalo phobe Valued Senior Member

    To answer the last question first, I think the difference is that temporal merely means "pertaining to time"... while chronological refers to the order of time (e.g. Oldest to most recent). If you place your memories in chronological order, it means starting with the earliest memories you have and ending with the most recent.

    As for what the sentence means, without reading the passage from the book for further context, it seems to suggest that one can map the history, progress and development of a society through its art objects. If you place the objects in chronological order, you can trace the changes in whoever/whatever created them over the timeframe in question.
    e.g. If you lined all of Dali's works in chronological order, you could probably see how his work developed during his life, how he was influenced by changes in his personal life, how his techniques developed etc.
    the same could be said if you lined up the art created by a society over hundreds of years etc.
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  5. Fraggle Rocker Staff Member

    Frankly, I don't think the reviewer has chosen his words well. As Sarkus says, there is a significant difference between the meaning of "temporal" and "chronological." But in this sentence they are used as synonyms. He is referring to the sequence of the creation of various art objects. This is not a proper use of the word "temporal."
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