Free Essay on Relating Temporal Cognition to Romanticism and Existentialism

Published: 2017-12-25
Free Essay on Relating Temporal Cognition to Romanticism and Existentialism
Type of paper:  Essay
Categories:  Knowledge Philosophy
Pages: 5
Wordcount: 1258 words
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In relating a key topic in Hergenhahn’s book to the concept evaluated in the review paper, it is important first to establish the underlying meaning of the two. The topic in focus from the book is romanticism and existentialism, which is to be related to the concept of temporal cognition. Temporal cognition refers to the set of brain functions that make it possible for human beings to experience the flow of time and to process the sequential and chronological characteristics of the phenomena in the real world. In this way, human beings can accomplish the perception of order in things and a synchronisation of events that take place in life. They are also able to perceive the formation of what they have experienced and conceptualise abstractions (Salidis, 2009). Additionally, it is also, what enables human beings to process duration and have the cognition of the present and the past as noted by Hassan (2011). Romanticism, on the other hand, is a philosophical ideology that places emphasis on emotions. In this sense, the focus is on emotional awareness and self-awareness as a requirement for the improvement of the human experience and the society as a whole. Existentialism, on the other hand, is a philosophical approach that lays emphasis on the existence of an individual as a responsible and free agent with the capacity to determine their progress and development willfully in action. The relation of these concepts with temporal cognition will enable a better comprehension of psychology and the various factors that form the foundation of the study in human thinking, condition, and knowledge.

Temporal Cognition and Romanticism, Romanticism philosophy definition

Romanticism is based on the argument and notion that human beings are made up of aspects exceeding intellect and ideas that come from experience (Hergenhahn & Henley, 2013). In this manner, human beings also have a wide range of irrational emotions or feelings, instincts and intuitions, which all combine to form the whole. The mind of a human being cannot thus be simply construed and understood as aspects of experience and intellect since this is a constructive view that fails to establish a comprehensive understanding of the nature of the individual. In understanding romanticism and relating it to temporal cognition, it is important to note that the concept of romanticism also lies in the belief that rational thought fails to establish a better understanding of the human mind the processes that go on in there. This means that evaluating the human in terms rationality alone puts the human being as some machine with no feelings. In this concept, the best way of having a comprehension of humans and what they are like is to look at the totality of the human person and not just focus on rationality. Romanticism seeks to highlight the intuition, emotion, and instincts of the individual as primary principles in understanding the human conduct.

According to AccManiadakis & Trahanias (2016), the human understanding of the world around them, knowing and sensing it develops through spatiotemporal interpretation and experience which means that time as well as spatial information play a significant role in human cognition. In this way, the ability to process time and experience it is vital and necessary for the daily activities that human beings go through which include being able to remember experiences and even planning for these activities at a particular time. This explanation can be used to relate temporal cognition to the concept of romanticism in the sense that the human being relies on not only logic but also other aspects to construe that which is going on around them, make sense of it and place it in sequence. The ability to make sense of time and plan activities or even recall events is also associated with the fact that other elements that come into play such as emotions and instincts (Zakay & Block, 2007). Time, as construed by the human mind, is subject to influence by many other factors that move away from rationality. The conceptualization of what is happening or taking place at a particular time and the ability to ascribe meaning and even recall these things encompasses irrationalities that cannot be explained or understood solely through intellect or empirical evidence and studies. In this way, the understanding of how human beings conceptualise time and spatial information and even their experiences in time are connected to their emotions and intuitions.

Temporal Cognition and Existentialism, Existentialism philosophy definition

Existentialism places emphasis on the human being’s ability make free choices and defines their life. This concept advances the significance of the human existence, the uniqueness of an individual and freedom of choice(Hergenhahn & Henley, 2013). The most significant aspects in existentialism as related to the human being include an individual’s subjective interpretation of their life in addition to the choices made in interpreting life and what it means. Existentialism is similar to romanticism in the way it lays significance on feeling and personal experience as the measure in understanding people. This can be used to explain temporal cognition and the manner in which people ascribe meaning to time and spatial information. In this respect, human beings are unique in their understanding of time and the events that take place at different times in life. The manner in which one person will interpret an occurrence will differ greatly from the way another person will evaluate that occurrence subject to time. The uniqueness of the every individual as advanced by existentialism and their ability to make independent choices that vary from each other will also affect how they construe for instance the progression of events. These interpretations and the meaning they adopt in the lives of different people are as a result of the capacity to make choices that affect people in various ways. Therefore, understanding how human beings make sense of time and other factors such as recalling of sequences and events is tied to the uniqueness of every person. As advanced by Evans (2003), no two people can construe spatial information in the exact same way.


The relationship between the concepts of romanticism and existentialism and temporal cognition lies in the understanding of how various factors affect the manner in which human beings conceptualise time. Logic and intellect or rationalism though important in understanding the human condition are not sufficient in explaining temporal cognition. The manner in which human beings make sense of the events around them or the way people recall occurrences and even ascribe meaning to this occurrences as related to time are subject to emotional influence and other associated factors such as intuition and feelings. Additionally, individuals are unique and have the ability to make free choices meaning that every person’s interpretation of time, sequence and events is dependent on the choices they make that are different for everyone. In this way, temporal cognition can be explained and related to the concept of romanticism or existentialism in efforts geared towards understanding the human condition.


Evans, V. (Ed.). (2003). The structure of time: Language, meaning and temporal cognition. John Benjamins Publishing.

Hassan, R. (2011). The age of distraction: reading, writing, and politics in a high-speed networked economy (Vol. 1). Transaction Publishers.

Hergenhahn, B. R., & Henley, T. (2013). An introduction to the history of psychology. Cengage Learning.

Maniadakis, M. & Trahanias, P. (2016). Temporal Cognition: A Key Ingredient of Intelligent Systems. Retrieved 16 November 2016, from

Salidis, J. (2009). Nonconscious temporal cognition: Learning rhythms implicitly. Memory & cognition, 29(8), 1111-1119.

Zakay, D., & Block, R. A. (2007). Temporal cognition. Current Directions in Psychological Science, 6(1), 12-16.

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