© T.P.Lolaev


T. P. Lolaev, D.Ph., Professor

North-Ossetian State University

One should admit that till present philosophy and science as a whole operate with the terms of postulated, invented by human beings times, inadequately reflecting objectively real (in our terms), functional time (1). All said above concerns as well the time of relational concept, although it is absolutely correctly connected with material motion and interactions.

According to our functional concept of time objectively real, functional time (there is no different kind of time in the universe) is connected not with the mechanical motion as simple moving (transference), but with motion as quality change, with motion as reason of formation, that is originating and disappearing of material objects as such as the result of implementation of their material substances into other subsequent objects. The objectively real, functional time is formed only as a result of successive change of qualitatively new states of concrete, finite material objects, processes (each object is a process). With this each material process forms its own time in which it only exists. Besides, we should note that the term “own time” is used in the relativity theory as well but applying to the mechanically moving bodies. In order to clear up the difference between understanding of “own time” in the functional concept and in the relativity theory we will underline that the latter is measured with the so called “good clock” connected with the mechanically moving body while in the functional concept it can be measured only with “ideal clock”, which is able to repeat punctually rhythms and durations formed by successively changing states of the body (object) itself.

Thus it comes clear that the objectively real, functional time is not the universal form of substance being, but it is the function of concrete, finite material things, phenomena and processes, the function which characterizes the duration of their existence. We call objectively real time as functional in connection with the fact that time existence itself and all its features completely depend on qualitative changes which take place in time forming objects, processes.

As functional time is formed by material objects, processes from the moment of their origin to their disappearance, it is always present (2).

Although functional time has got physical sense and physical meaning (as it is generated from real material systems, processes) it is not substantial (it is neither substance nor physical field). For this particular reason functional time is not reversible on principle (3). It means that functional time cannot turn back even if processes forming it elapse backwards.

Insubstantial time can neither slow down nor quicken (only time forming material processes can do it). In connection with it time’s slowing down which is considered in physics as experimentally proved should be admitted as erroneous.

The whole point is that for the first time in philosophy and science there has been revealed the nature of objectively real time as a result of working out the functional concept of time. In its turn the latter has allowed to substantiate that in reality it is not the process that is time function (as it is erroneously considered in science), but time itself is process function. Hence it follows that it is necessary to change radically approaches to investigations of processes in all spheres of science and practice. Only in this way we can reveal unknown before time regularities necessary for solving both already existing and only appearing problems including global ones.

As N.N. Trubnikov has fairly noticed: “The Epoch has put forward the task of taking hold (controlling) of time. Up-to-date scientific and technological revolution with its problems and revealing possibilities creates the material basis for its solution” (4).

An outstanding modern scientist, the Nobel Prize Laureate I. Prigozhin particularly points out that “nowadays the main problem in science is to rediscover the concept of time, to expose it in the foreground” (5). In this connection I. Prigozhin considers his main task as to introduce the rediscovered concept of time into equations of dynamics on the basis of which, in his opinion, a new stage of scientific and technological revolution can begin (6).

It should be mentioned that biologists were the first to use the new approaches in studying of time-space organization of biological systems. Due to this biologists managed to find out and use the unknown time regularities of animal development in practice.

Firstly we mean works by those outstanding biologists (Detlaff, Ignatyev and others) who measure the processes not in astronomic units (days, hours, minutes, seconds) but in special units of duration measured with the help of definite processes of the living body under study (that is, in terms of own functional time!). The thing is that, as Detlaff stresses, the widely used units of astronomic time give very limited information, which suits only the given kind of organism and the given particular conditions (7). Only the analysis of time regularities of animal development obtained with the usage of method of relative immeasurable characteristics of development duration has allowed to introduce time parameter into comparative-embryological research for the first time and to make time itself the object of analysis.

Taking into account a new way, method of timekeeping of biological processes E.A. Khasanov writes: “thus there is a surprising uniformity in development of organisms proving the existence of the internal dynamic laws of development, which cannot be detected at usage of generally accepted units of time measurement ” (8).

The aforesaid, strictly speaking, means that biologists have discovered a new method of analysis of time regularities of animals development and as it is known, make use of it in practice. However, according to Detlaff’s fair opinion, “ ... the task of time definition, in terms accessible to the quantitative registration and reflecting the qualitative peculiarity of the phenomenon under study as well as permitting to reveal with their help time regularities, remains actual and difficult to solve for many sciences today” (9). In this connection we will point out that, in our opinion, it is possible to overcome successfully difficulties related to regularities detection both in animals development and in studies of processes, if knowing the nature of objectively real, functional time which appears exclusively as a result of consecutive qualitative changes happening in material objects, processes.

Thus all the aforesaid testifies convincingly that the validity of the functional concept of time, developed by us, has found the undisputable confirmation by the data of science and practice. And practice is known to validate objectivity of the contents of knowledge, to serve as criterion, as standard for checking the truth of knowledge outcome.

In this connection the research of the problem of functional biological time is supposed to open new broad opportunities for the analysis of time regularities and for using them in practice not only in developmental biology but in all branches of science and practice as well.


    1. See: 1) Lolaev T.P. Time; new approaches to the old problem. Ordzonikidze, 1989. 2) Lolaev T.P. Time in nature. Vladikavkaz, 1991. 3) Lolaev T.P. Space and time, their relationship with motion. Vladikavkaz, 1992. 4) Lolaev T.P. Conceptual times: the degree of their adequacy to objectively real time. Vladikavkaz, 1994. 5) Lolaev T.P. The functional concept of time. Vladikavkaz, 1994. 6) Lolaev T.P. The thinkers of antiquity and early middle ages about nature and time. Vladikavkaz, 1997. 7) Lolaev T.P. The space-temporal structure of the Universe and the law of its functioning. Vladikavkaz, 1999.
    2. See: Lolaev T.P. About the “gear” of time flow // Problems of philosophy. 1996. N 1. Pp. 51-57.
    3. See: Lolaev T.P. The philosophical and naturally scientific basis of time irreversibility // Issue of Moscow University. Seria 7. Philosophy. 1995. N 2. Pp. 80-90.
    4. Trubnikov N.N. Time of human life. Moscow, 1987. P.5.
    5. See: Search. 1993. N 10 (March 5-11).
    6. Ibid.
    7. See: Detlaff T.A. Analysis of time regularities of animal development // Ontogenesis. 1989. V.20. P.647.
    8. Khasanov I.A. Phenomenon of time. Part 1. Objective time. Moscow, 1998. Pp.148-149.
    9. Detlaff T.A. Analysis of time regularities of animal development // Ontogenesis. 1989. V.20. P.647.
    10. Lolaev T.P. New ideas in philosophy. Interinstitutional collection of scientific papers. Issue 10. Perm, 2001. Pp. 201-204.