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When we embrace the Greek notion of time embodied in the name Kairos , as we have done since the founding of this journal, we are also positioning ourselves within the Greek philosophical tradition.

Philosophical discussions about time for the Greeks, most notably Plato and Aristotle, involve questions of changing reality, that is questions relating to being and becoming. Deeply-rooted implications found in the word kairos  infer that language and communications evolve, that they do not remain static. However, they do exist simultaneously in a state of becoming as well as a state of being--because while they become, they both have to be.

I should say right off that the Greek mind viewed the universe hierarchically and categorically--a way of thinking that underpinned their leaps of brilliance in matters philosophical and, at the same time, gave impetus to their ethnocentrism. In general, the Greeks had little understanding of how they themselves fit into the wide expanse of passing time.

In fact, the Egyptians referred to the Greeks as children because the Greeks could not seem to accept the relative minuteness of their historical moment in context of eternity. Despite this or perhaps because of it, they nonetheless devised strategies to make sense of time in a larger, philosophical sense.

In the Republic  for instance, Plato sets up a hierarchy that places a universe of constancy over one of flux. Although he recognized that the state of becoming existed, Plato believed it to be far less preferable to that of being.

Aristotle, always the pragmatist, deviated slightly from Plato's view of being and becoming. For Aristotle, becoming implied potentiality. He saw a more positive connection than Plato did between the potentiality implied in becoming and the actuality of the state of being, mainly because he had far more faith in our ability to perfect ourselves and our world. Thus for Aristotle, change and constancy are interconnected: One doesn't exist outside of the other.

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