Aspects of Time

Edited by Sam Baron (University of Western Australia)
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  1. The Puzzle of the Changing Past.Luca Barlassina & Fabio Del Prete - 2015 - Analysis 75 (1):59-67.
    If you utter sentence ‘Obama was born in 1961’ now, you say something true about the past. Since the past will always be such that the year 1961 has the property of being a time in which Obama was born, it seems impossible that could ever be false in a future context of utterance. We shall consider the case of a sentence about the past exactly like , but which was true when uttered a few years ago and is no (...)
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  2. The Mathematical Representation of the Arrow of Time.Meir Hemmo & Orly Shenker - 2012 - Iyyun 61:167-192.
    This paper distinguishes between 3 meanings of reversal, all of which are mathematically equivalent in classical mechanics: velocity reversal, retrodiction, and time reversal. It then concludes that in order to have well defined velocities a primitive arrow of time must be included in every time slice. The paper briefly mentions that this arrow cannot come from the Second Law of thermodynamics, but this point is developed in more details elsewhere.
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  3. Tense and the Logic of Change.Reinhard Muskens - 1995 - In Urs Egli, Peter Pause, Christoph Schwarze, Arnim von Stechow & Götz Wienold (eds.), Lexical Knowledge in the Organization of Language. Amsterdam/Philadelphia: John Benjamins. pp. 147-183.
    In this paper it is shown how the DRT (Discourse Representation Theory) treatment of temporal anaphora can be formalized within a version of Montague Semantics that is based on classical type logic.
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The Direction of Time
  1. Counterfactuals, Irreversible Laws and The Direction of Time.Terrance A. Tomkow - manuscript
    The principle of Information Conservation or Determinism is a governing assumption of physical theory. Determinism has counterfactual consequences. It entails that if the present were different, then the future would be different. But determinism is temporally symmetric: it entails that if the present were different, the past would also have to be different. This runs contrary to our commonsense intuition that what has happened in the future depends on the past in a way the past does not depend on the (...)
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  2. A Study of Time in Modern Physics.Peter W. Evans - 2011 - Dissertation,
    This thesis is a study of the notion of time in modern physics, consisting of two parts. Part I takes seriously the doctrine that modern physics should be treated as the primary guide to the nature of time. To this end, it offers an analysis of the various conceptions of time that emerge in the context of various physical theories and, furthermore, an analysis of the relation between these conceptions of time and the more orthodox philosophical views on the nature (...)
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  3. Temporal Phenomenology: Phenomenological Illusion Vs Cognitive Error.Kristie Miller, Alex Holcombe & Andrew James Latham - forthcoming - Synthese.
    Temporal non-dynamists hold that there is no temporal passage, but concede that many of us judge that it seems as though time passes. Phenomenal Illusionists suppose that things do seem this way, even though things are not this way. They attempt to explain how it is that we are subject to a pervasive phenomenal illusion. More recently, Cognitive Error Theorists have argued that our experiences do not seem that way; rather, we are subject to an error that leads us mistakenly (...)
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  4. Time Reversal Invariance in Quantum Mechanics.Reza Moulavi Ardakani - 2017 - Dissertation, Texas Tech University
    Symmetries have a crucial role in today’s physics. In this thesis, we are mostly concerned with time reversal invariance (T-symmetry). A physical system is time reversal invariant if its underlying laws are not sensitive to the direction of time. There are various accounts of time reversal transformation resulting in different views on whether or not a given theory in physics is time reversal invariant. With a focus on quantum mechanics, I describe the standard account of time reversal and compare it (...)
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  5. The Identification of the Intrinsic Nature of Time.Vincent Vesterby - 2014
    For millennia people have speculated about the nature of time—without success. Time plays a role with all processes and events studied by all the disciplines. It is reported here that the existence of time is a direct consequence of the existence of space. Space exists, and it continues to exist. Space is there, and it continues to be there. Space exists as place, the three-dimensional place that matter can occupy. The three-dimensional extension of spatial-place is measured with a ruler of (...)
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  6. What's So Spatial About Time Anyway?Sam Baron & Peter W. Evans - forthcoming - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science.
    Skow ([2007]), and much more recently Callender ([2017]), argue that time can be distinguished from space due to the special role it plays in our laws of nature: our laws determine the behaviour of physical systems across time, but not across space. In this work we assess the claim that the laws of nature might provide the basis for distinguishing time from space. We find that there is an obvious reason to be sceptical of the argument Skow submits for distinguishing (...)
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  7. Causation and Time Reversal.Matt Farr - forthcoming - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science:axx025.
    What would it be for a process to happen backwards in time? Would such a process involve different causal relations? It is common to understand the time reversal invariance of a physical theory in causal terms, such that whatever can happen forwards in time (according to the theory) can also happen backwards in time. This has led many to hold that time reversal symmetry is incompatible with the asymmetry of cause and effect. This paper critiques the causal reading of time (...)
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  8. 1: Programming a Planck Universe Black-Hole CMB and the Cosmological Constant, a Simulation Hypothesis.Malcolm J. Macleod - manuscript
    The Simulation Hypothesis proposes that all of reality is in fact an artificial simulation, analogous to a computer simulation. Outlined here is a method for programming principal cosmic microwave background parameters applicable for use in (Planck-level) Universe-as-a-Simulation Hypothesis as the only variable required is the universe age as measured in units of Planck time. The model initializes `micro Planck-size black-holes' being entities that embody the Planck units. The simulation begins as a single micro black-hole and expands by adding further micro (...)
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  9. Vor dem Starten ankommen. Über Zeitreisen und Warp-Antriebe.Kay Herrmann - 2016 - Universitätsverlag Chemnitz.
    Time travel and superluminal travel are two of mankind's dreams. They inspire our imagination and provide material for bizarre stories. -/- A work on the subject of time travel and superluminal travel forces us to re-examine our concept of "time". The complexity and the contradictory nature this subject makes it difficult to be more precise about "time". On its deepest subjective side, time is a means of perception, a biological rhythm, a social phenomenon in terms of our collective understanding of (...)
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  10. The Computable Universe: From Prespace Metaphysics to Discrete Quantum Mechanics.Martin Leckey - 1997 - Dissertation, Monash University
    The central motivating idea behind the development of this work is the concept of prespace, a hypothetical structure that is postulated by some physicists to underlie the fabric of space or space-time. I consider how such a structure could relate to space and space-time, and the rest of reality as we know it, and the implications of the existence of this structure for quantum theory. Understanding how this structure could relate to space and to the rest of reality requires, I (...)
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  11. Tensed Ontology Based on Simple Partial Logic.Daisuke Kachi - 2002 - Proceedings of Ninth International Symposium on Temporal Representation and Reasoning: TIME-02:141-145.
    Simple partial logic (=SPL) is, broadly speaking, an extensional logic which allows for the truth-value gap. First I give a system of propositional SPL by partializing classical logic, as well as extending it with several non-classical truth-functional operators. Second I show a way based on SPL to construct a system of tensed ontology, by representing tensed statements as two kinds of necessary statements in a linear model that consists of the present and future worlds. Finally I compare that way with (...)
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  12. The Time Flow Manifesto CHAPTER 3 REVERSIBILTY IN PHYSICS.Andrew Holster - manuscript
    The conventional claims and concepts of 5* - 8* are a hang-over from the classical theory of thermodynamics – i.e. thermodynamics based on a fully deterministic micro-theory, developed in the time of Boltzmann, Loschmidt and Gibbs in the late C19th. The classical theory has well-known ‘reversibility paradoxes’ when applied to the universe as a whole. But the introduction of intrinsic probabilities in quantum mechanics, and its consequent time asymmetry, fundamentally changes the picture.
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  13. About Appearance of the Irreversibility.Igor V. Lebed - 2014 - Open Journal of Fluid Dynamics 4 (3):298-320.
    The inevitability of arising in equations of kinetics and hydrodynamics irreversibility not contained in original equations of classic mechanics is substantiated. It is established that transfer of information about the direction of system evolution from initial conditions to resulting equations is the consequence of losing information about the position of an individual particle in space, which takes place at roughening description. It is shown that the roughening with respect to impact parameters of colliding particles is responsible for appearance of the (...)
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  14. Principles of Physical Time Directionality and Fallacies of the Conventional Philosophy.Andrew Holster - manuscript
    These are the first two chapters from a monograph (The Time Flow Manifesto, Holster, 2013-14; unpublished), defending the concepts of time directionality and time flow in physics and naturalistic metaphysics, against long-standing attacks from the ‘conventional philosophy of physical time’. This monograph sets out to disprove twelve specific “fallacies of the conventional philosophy”, stated in the first section below. These are the foundational principles of the conventional philosophy, which developed in the mid-C20th from positivist-inspired studies. The first chapter begins by (...)
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  15. Is the Past a Matter of Chance?Antony Eagle - 2014 - In Alastair Wilson (ed.), Chance and Temporal Asymmetry. U.K: Oxford University Press. pp. 126-158.
    This volume sets the agenda for future work on time and chance, which are central to theemerging sub-field of metaphysics of science.
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  16. Do Time Travelers Suffer From Paradoxes?Daisuke Kachi - 2007 - Annals of the Japan Association for Philosophy of Science 15 (2):95-98.
    In this paper I give consideration to some apparent impossibilities for the time travelers to the past. After criticizing the views of D. Lewis and K. Vihvelin, I will show in what sense they are really impossible.
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  17. In Search of the Arrow of Time. Temporal Asymmetries in Leibniz.Jean-Pascal Anfray - 2012 - Studia Leibnitiana 44 (1):81-106.
    This paper examines the problem of the basis of time’s asymmetry. I hold the view that there is an objective temporal asymmetry in Leibniz’s philosophy of time. I closely examine various asymmetrical phenomena, which can be candidates as an explanation of time’s asymmetry: (1) causation; (2) the flow of time; (3) the modal difference between past and present; (4) counterfactual dependence; and, finally (5) the asymmetry of the world’s progress and its direction and (6) of the progress of rational creatures. (...)
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  18. The Universal Arrow of Time.Oleg Kupervasser, Hrvoje Nikolić & Vinko Zlatić - 2012 - Foundations of Physics 42 (9):1165-1185.
    Statistical physics cannot explain why a thermodynamic arrow of time exists, unless one postulates very special and unnatural initial conditions. Yet, we argue that statistical physics can explain why the thermodynamic arrow of time is universal, i.e., why the arrow points in the same direction everywhere. Namely, if two subsystems have opposite arrow-directions at a particular time, the interaction between them makes the configuration statistically unstable and causes a decay towards a system with a universal direction of the arrow of (...)
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  19. A Relic of a Bygone Age? Causation, Time Symmetry and the Directionality Argument.Matt Farr & Alexander Reutlinger - 2013 - Erkenntnis 78 (2):215-235.
    Bertrand Russell famously argued that causation is not part of the fundamental physical description of the world, describing the notion of cause as “a relic of a bygone age”. This paper assesses one of Russell’s arguments for this conclusion: the ‘Directionality Argument’, which holds that the time symmetry of fundamental physics is inconsistent with the time asymmetry of causation. We claim that the coherence and success of the Directionality Argument crucially depends on the proper interpretation of the ‘ time symmetry’ (...)
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  20. On A- and B-Theoretic Elements of Branching Spacetimes.Matt Farr - 2012 - Synthese 188 (1):85-116.
    This paper assesses branching spacetime theories in light of metaphysical considerations concerning time. I present the A, B, and C series in terms of the temporal structure they impose on sets of events, and raise problems for two elements of extant branching spacetime theories—McCall’s ‘branch attrition’, and the ‘no backward branching’ feature of Belnap’s ‘branching space-time’—in terms of their respective A- and B-theoretic nature. I argue that McCall’s presentation of branch attrition can only be coherently formulated on a model with (...)
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  21. Aristotle on the Order and Direction of Time.John Bowin - 2009 - Apeiron 42 (1):49-78.
    This paper defends Aristotle’s project of deriving the order of time from the order of change in Physics 4.11, against the objection that it contains a vicious circularity arising from the assumption that we cannot specify the direction of a change without invoking the temporal relations of its stages. It considers and rejects a solution to this objection proposed by Ursula Coope, and proposes an alternative solution. It also considers the related problem of how the temporal orders and directions derived (...)
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  22. Backtracking Influence.Douglas Kutach - 2011 - International Studies in the Philosophy of Science 25 (1):55-71.
    Backtracking influence is influence that zigzags in time. For example, backtracking influence exists when an event E_1 makes an event E_2 more likely by way of a nomic connection that goes from E_1 back in time to an event C and then forward in time to E_2. I contend that in our local region of spacetime, at least, backtracking influence is redundant in the sense that any existing backtracking influence exerted by E_1 on E_2 is equivalent to E_1's temporally direct (...)
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  23. The Empirical Content of the Epistemic Asymmetry.Douglas Kutach - manuscript
    I conduct an empirical analysis of the temporally asymmetric character of our epistemic access to the world by providing an experimental scheme whose results represent the core empirical content of the epistemic asymmetry. I augment this empirical content by formulating a gedanken experiment inspired by a proposal from David Albert. This second experiment cannot be conducted using any technology that is likely to be developed in the foreseeable future, but the expected results help us to state an important constraint on (...)
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  24. Causation and Its Basis in Fundamental Physics.Douglas Kutach - 2013 - Oxford University Press.
    I provide a comprehensive metaphysics of causation based on the idea that fundamentally things are governed by the laws of physics, and that derivatively difference-making can be assessed in terms of what fundamental laws of physics imply for hypothesized events. Highlights include a general philosophical methodology, the fundamental/derivative distinction, and my mature account of causal asymmetry.
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  25. The Asymmetry of Influence.Douglas Kutach - 2011 - In Craig Callender (ed.), Oxford Handbook of Philosophy of Time. Oxford University Press.
    An explanation of our seeming inability to influence the past.
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  26. Reading the Past in the Present.Nick Huggett - unknown
    Why is our knowledge of the past so much more ‘expansive’ (to pick a suitably vague term) than our knowledge of the future, and what is the best way to capture the difference(s) (i.e., in what sense is knowledge of the past more ‘expansive’)? One could reasonably approach these questions by giving necessary conditions for different kinds of knowledge, and showing how some were satisfied by certain propositions about the past, and not by corresponding propositions about the future. I take (...)
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  27. Bilking the Bilking Argument.Rebecca Roache - 2009 - Analysis 69 (4):605-611.
    Is it conceptually possible for an event, L, to be the cause of an earlier event, E? Some writers have employed the so-called bilking argument to attempt to show that the idea of such backwards causation is incoherent . According to this argument, if we are presented with what someone claims to be a case of backwards causation, it would be possible in principle to wait for E to occur, and then intervene to prevent the occurrence of L, thus demonstrating (...)
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  28. Can We Describe Possible Circumstances in Which We Would Have Most Reason to Believe That Time is Two-Dimensional?Graham Oppy - 2004 - Ratio 17 (1):68–83.
    I argue that no one has yet successfully managed to describe possible circumstances in which it would be correct to say that we have most reason to believe that time is two-dimensional. I also argue--using a similar strategy--that Shoemaker's famous case for time without change does not describe possible circumstances in which it would be correct to say that we have most reason to believe that there is time without change.
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Time Travel
  1. Space, Time, and Time Travel.Nicolae Sfetcu - manuscript
    Newton supported the idea of absolute time, unlike Leibniz, for which time is only a relation between events and cannot be expressed independently, a statement in concordance with the relativity of space-time. Eternalism claims that the past and the future exist in a real sense, going to the idea that time is a dimension similar to spatial dimensions, that future and past events are "present" on the axis of time, but this view is challenged. On four-dimensional vision, the universe is (...)
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  2. Grandfather Paradox in Time Travel.Nicolae Sfetcu - manuscript
    The most well-known example of the impossibility of traveling in time is the grandfather paradox or self-infanticide argument: a person who travels in the past and kills his own grandfather, thus preventing the existence of one of his parents and thus his own existence. A philosophical response to this paradox would be the impossibility of changing the past, like Novikov self-consistency principle (if an event exists that would cause a paradox or any "change" to the past whatsoever, then the probability (...)
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  3. Voyage dans le temps.Nicolae Sfetcu - manuscript
    Une autre définition du voyage dans le temps (Arntzenius 2006) (Smeenk and Wüthrich 2011) l'assimile à l'existence des courbes temporelles fermées, une variété lorentzienne d'une particule matérielle dans l'espace-temps qui revient à son point de départ. Certains auteurs acceptent l’existence de deux dimensions temporelles et d’autres envisagent des scénarios comportant plusieurs univers « parallèles », chacun ayant son propre espace-temps à quatre dimensions.Mais la question est de savoir si un voyage dans une autre dimension temporelle ou dans un autre univers (...)
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  4. Time Travel.Nicolae Sfetcu - manuscript
    Time travel is a recognized concept in philosophy and science, but whose scope is highly disputed, giving rise to numerous paradoxes in both philosophy and science. Time travel is considered by some accepted both in general relativity and quantum mechanics, but there is a unanimous consensus that it is not feasible with current technology. (Hawkins 2010) The raised issues are different for the time travel in the past compared to the time travel in the future.
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  5. The End of Mystery.Sam Baron & Mark Colyvan - forthcoming - American Philosophical Quarterly.
    Tim travels back in time and tries to kill his grandfather before his father was born. Tim fails. But why? Lewis’s response was to cite ‘coincidences’: Tim is the unlucky subject of gun jammings, banana peels, sudden changes of heart and so on. A number of challenges have been raised against Lewis’s response. The latest of these focuses on explanation. This paper diagnoses the source of this new disgruntlement and offers an alternative explanation for Tim’s failure, one that Lewis would (...)
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  6. Time Travel and the Immutability of the Past Within B-Theoretical Models.Giacomo Andreoletti & Giuliano Torrengo - forthcoming - Philosophia:1-11.
    The goal of this paper is to defend the general tenet that time travelers cannot change the past within B-theoretical models of time, independently of how many temporal dimensions there are. Baron (2017) offered a strong argument intended to reach this general conclusion. However, his argument does not cover a peculiar case, i.e. a B-theoretical one-dimensional model of time that allows for the presence of internal times. Loss (2015) used the latter model to argue that time travelers can change the (...)
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  7. If Time Travel to Our Location is Possible, We Do Not Live in a Branching Universe.James Norton - 2018 - Analysis 78 (2):260-266.
    This paper argues for the following disjunction: either we do not live in a world with a branching temporal structure, or backwards time travel is nomologically impossible, given the initial state of the universe, or backwards time travel to our space-time location is impossible given large-scale facts about space and time. A fortiori, if backwards time travel to our location is possible, we do not live in a branching universe.
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  8. Buclele cauzale în călătoria în timp.Nicolae Sfetcu - manuscript
    În această lucrare analizez posibilitatea călătoriei în timp pe baza mai multor lucrări de specialitate, printre care cele ale lui Nicholas J.J. Smith ("Time Travel", The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy”), William Grey (”Troubles with Time Travel”), Ulrich Meyer (”Explaining causal loops”), Simon Keller și Michael Nelson (”Presentists should believe in time-travel”), Frank Arntzenius și Tim Maudlin ("Time Travel and Modern Physics") și David Lewis (“The Paradoxes of Time Travel”). Lucrarea începe cu o Introducere în care fac o scurtă prezentare a (...)
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  9. The Metaphysics of Mortals: Death, Immortality, and Personal Time.Cody Gilmore - 2016 - Philosophical Studies 173 (12):3271-3299.
    Personal time, as opposed to external time, has a certain role to play in the correct account of death and immortality. But saying exactly what that role is, and what role remains for external time, is not straightforward. I formulate and defend accounts of death and immortality that specify these roles precisely.
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  10. Is Some Backwards Time Travel Inexplicable?Kristie Miller - 2017 - American Philosophical Quarterly 54 (2):131-141.
    It has been suggested that there is something worrisome, puzzling, or incomprehensible about the sorts of causal loops sometimes involved in backwards time travel. This paper disentangles two distinct puzzles and evaluates whether they provide us reason to find backwards time travel incomprehensible, inexplicable, or otherwise worrisome. The paper argues that they provide no such reason.
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  11. Vor dem Starten ankommen. Über Zeitreisen und Warp-Antriebe.Kay Herrmann - 2016 - Universitätsverlag Chemnitz.
    Time travel and superluminal travel are two of mankind's dreams. They inspire our imagination and provide material for bizarre stories. -/- A work on the subject of time travel and superluminal travel forces us to re-examine our concept of "time". The complexity and the contradictory nature this subject makes it difficult to be more precise about "time". On its deepest subjective side, time is a means of perception, a biological rhythm, a social phenomenon in terms of our collective understanding of (...)
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  12. Nowhere Man: Time Travel and Spatial Location.Sara Bernstein - 2015 - Midwest Studies in Philosophy 39 (1):158-168.
    This paper suggests that time travelling scenarios commonly depicted in science fiction introduce problems and dangers for the time traveller. If time travel takes time, then time travellers risk collision with past objects, relocation to distant parts of the universe, and time travel-specific injuries. I propose several models of time travel that avoid the dangers and risks of time travel taking time, and that introduce new questions about the relationship between time travel and spatial location.
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  13. Real Presence in the Eucharist and Time-Travel.Martin Pickup - 2015 - Religious Studies 51 (3):379-389.
    This article aims to bring some work in contemporary analytic metaphysics to discussions of the Real Presence of Christ in the Eucharist. I will show that some unusual claims of the Real Presence doctrine exactly parallel what would be happening in the world if objects were to time-travel in certain ways. Such time-travel would make ordinary objects multiply located, and in the relevantly analogous respects. If it is conceptually coherent that objects behave in this way, we have a model for (...)
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  14. Understanding Future-Viewing Machines and Time Travel.Aaron M. Feeney - 2014 - Aaron M. Feeney.
    {June 2018 UPDATE: This work has been greatly surpassed by "Utilizing Future-Viewing Instruments" which will appear in the July 2018 issue of Progress in Physics. It can now be downloaded in PDF form from their website.} This is the full text of the paper that was published as a Kindle book on April 6th, 2014. In most respects, it has since been surpassed by "Potentials of Future-Viewing Machines," which is available here in this repository. Nevertheless, this earlier work addresses minutia (...)
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  15. Potentials of Future-Viewing Machines.Aaron M. Feeney - manuscript
    {June 2018 UPDATE: This work has been greatly surpassed by "Utilizing Future-Viewing Instruments" which will appear in the July 2018 issue of Progress in Physics. It can now be downloaded in PDF form from their website.} -/- The introduction of new scientific instruments has always played a vital role in the advancement of science and society. All scientific instruments to date have only been able to gain information pertaining to events of our immediate and distant past. Concerning our attempts to (...)
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  16. Free Will and Time Travel.Neal A. Tognazzini - 2016 - In Meghan Griffith, Neil Levy & Kevin Timpe (eds.), The Routledge Companion to Free Will. New York: Routledge. pp. 680-690.
    In this chapter I articulate the threat that time travel to the past allegedly poses to the free will of the time traveler, and I argue that on the traditional way of thinking about free will, the incompatibilist about time travel and free will wins the day. However, a residual worry about the incompatibilist view points the way toward a novel way of thinking about free will, one that I tentatively explore toward the end of the chapter.
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  17. The Apparent Nature of Relative Simultaneity.Andrew Wutke - manuscript
    This paper presents the proof of the apparent nature of relative simultaneity originally derived from Einstein’s Special Theory of Relativity (STR). The proof does not challenge the validity of the STR but uncovers fundamental and widespread error in understanding of practical implications of Lorentz transformations. It is demonstrated that more than a century long debates generally miss the point. This results in counterintuitive claims of coexisting multiple time realities by mere equivalence of equal clock indications and simultaneity. Such claims have (...)
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  18. How to Change the Past in One-Dimensional Time.Roberto Loss - 2015 - Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 96 (1):1-11.
    The possibility of changing the past by means of time-travel appears to depend on the possibility of distinguishing the past as it is ‘before’ and ‘after’ the time-travel. So far, all the metaphysical models that have been proposed to account for the possibility of past-changing time-travels operate this distinction by conceiving of time as multi-dimensional, and thus by significantly inflating our metaphysics of time. The aim of this article is to argue that there is an intuitive sense in which past-changing (...)
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  19. Reasons-Responsiveness and Time Travel.Yishai Cohen - 2014 - Journal of Ethics and Social Philosophy (3):1-7.
    I argue that the theory of moral responsibility defended by John Martin Fischer and Mark Ravizza is incompatible with the metaphysical possibility of time travel.
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