Growing Block Views

Edited by Sam Baron (Australian Catholic University)
Assistant editors: David Ingram, James Darcy, B. C. Everett
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  1. Moving Ego versus Moving Time: Investigating the Shared Source of Future-Bias and Near-Bias.Sam Baron, Brigitte Everett, Andrew J. Latham, Kristie Miller, Hannah Tierney & Jordan Oh - manuscript
    It has been hypothesized that our believing that, or its seeming to us as though, the world is in some way dynamical partially explains (and perhaps rationalizes) future-bias. Recent work has, in turn, found a correlation between future-bias and near-bias, suggesting that there is a common explanation for both. Call the claim that what partially explains our being both future- and near-biased is our believing/it seeming to us as though the world is dynamical, the dynamical explanation. We empirically test two (...)
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  2. In Defense of Temporal Passage.Steven M. Duncan - manuscript
    In this paper, I endorse and defend the Common Sense View of Time (CSVT), i.e. Presentism plus the A-theory of time, by arguing for the objective reality of temporal passage.
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  3. Paradoxes of Time Travel to the Future.Sara Bernstein - forthcoming - In Helen Beebee & Anthony Fisher (eds.), Perspectives on the Philosophy of David K. Lewis. Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press.
    This paper brings two fresh perspectives on Lewis’s theory of time travel. First: many key aspects and theoretical desiderata of Lewis’s theory can be captured in a framework that does not commit to eternalism about time. Second: implementing aspects of Lewisian time travel in a non-eternalist framework provides theoretical resources for a better treatment of time travel to the future. While time travel to the past has been extensively analyzed, time travel to the future has been comparatively underexplored. I make (...)
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  4. Time, Metaphysics of.Natalja Deng - forthcoming - Routledge Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
    Metaphysics is the part of philosophy that asks questions about the nature of reality – about what there is, and what it is like. The metaphysics of time is the part of the philosophy of time that asks questions about the nature of temporal reality. One central such question is that of whether time passes or flows, or whether it has a dynamic aspect.
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  5. Alethic Openness and the Growing Block Theory of Time.Batoul Hodroj, Andrew J. Latham, Jordan Lee-Tory & Kristie Miller - forthcoming - The Philosophical Quarterly.
    Whatever its ultimate philosophical merits, it is often thought that the growing block theory presents an intuitive picture of reality that accords well with our pre-reflective or folk view of time, and of the past, present and future. This is partly motivated by the idea that we find it intuitive that in some sense the future is open and the past closed, and that the growing block theory is particularly well suited to accommodate this being so. In this paper we (...)
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  6. Our Naïve Representation of Time and of the Open Future.Batoul Hodroj, Andrew J. Latham & Kristie Miller - forthcoming - Dialectica.
    It’s generally thought that we naively or pre-theoretically represent the future to be open. While philosophers have modelled future openness in different ways, it’s unclear which, if any, captures our naïve sense that the future is open. In this paper we focus on just one way the future might count as being open: by being nomically open, and empirically investigate whether our naïve representation of the future as open is partly constituted by representing the future as nomically open. We also (...)
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  7. Why do people represent time as dynamical? An investigation of temporal dynamism and the open future.Andrew J. Latham & Kristie Miller - forthcoming - Philosophical Studies.
    Deflationists hold that it does not seem to us, in experience, as though time robustly passes. There is some recent empirical evidence that appears to support this contention. Equally, empirical evidence suggests that we naïvely represent time as dynamical. Thus deflationists are faced with an explanatory burden. If, as they maintain, the world seems to us in experience as though it is non-dynamical, then why do we represent time as dynamical? This paper takes up the challenge of investigating, on the (...)
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  8. The Growing Block, the Epistemic Objection, and Zombie Parrots.Ned Markosian - forthcoming - Disputatio:1-13.
    This piece is a contribution to a book symposium on Fabrice Correia and Sven Rosenkranz's _Nothing to Come: A Defense of the Growing Block Theory of Time_. I start by considering one of the main objections that has been raised against the Growing Block Theory, namely, the Epistemic Objection, together with Correia and Rosenkranz's response to that objection. This leads to a question about whether Correia and Rosenkranz’s view is a Four-Dimensionalist version of the Growing Block Theory or a Three-Dimensionalist (...)
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  9. The Growing Block, the Open Future, and Future Truths.Stephan Torre - forthcoming - Disputatio.
    For a book symposium in Disputatio on Fabrice Correia and Sven Rosenkranz's Nothing to Come.
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  10. Trouble on the Horizon for Presentism.Sam Baron & Baptiste Le Bihan - 2022 - Philosophers' Imprint 1.
    Surface presentism is the combination of a general relativistic physics with a presentist metaphysics. In this paper, we provide an argument against this combination based on black holes. The problem focuses on the notion of an event horizon. We argue that the present locations of event horizons are ontologically dependent on future black hole regions, and that this dependence is incompatible with presentism. We consider five responses to the problem available to the surface presentist, and argue that none succeed. Surface (...)
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  11. Look at the time!David Builes - 2022 - Analysis 82 (1):15-23.
    I argue that we can get evidence for the temporal ontology of the universe simply by looking at the time. The argument is an extension of the ‘epistemic objection’ towards Growing Block theories.
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  12. On metaphysics’ independence from truthmaking.Aldo Filomeno - 2021 - Erkenntnis 1:1-14.
    This paper aims to support the claim that analytic metaphysics should be more cautious regarding the constraints that truthmaking considerations impose on metaphysical theories. To this end, I reply to Briggs and Forbes (2017), whoargue that certain truthmaking commitments are incurred by a Humean metaphysics and by the Growing-Block theory. First, I argue that Humean Supervenience does not need to endorse a standard version of truthmaker maximalism. This undermines Briggs and Forbes’s conclusion that Humean Supervenience and the Growing-Block theory are (...)
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  13. Open future, supervaluationism and the growing-block theory: a stage-theoretical account.Roberto Loss - 2021 - Synthese 199 (5-6):14249-14266.
    I present a ‘stage-theoretical’ interpretation of the supervaluationist semantics for the growing-block theory of time according to which the ‘nodes’ on the branching tree of historical possibilities are taken to be possible stages of the growth of the growing-block. As I will argue, the resulting interpretation (i) is very intuitive, (ii) can easily ward off an objection to supervaluationist treatments of the growing-block theory presented by Fabrice Correia and Sven Rosenkranz, and (iii) is also not saddled by the problems affecting (...)
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  14. Being pessimistic about the objective present.Derek Lam - 2020 - Synthese (12):1-16.
    Some philosophers argue that non-presentist A-theories problematically imply that we cannot know that this moment is present. The problem is usually presented as arising from the combination of the A-theoretic ideology of a privileged presentness and a non-presentist ontology. The goal of this essay is to show that the epistemic problem can be rephrased as a pessimistic induction. By doing so, I will show that the epistemic problem, in fact, stems from the A-theoretic ideology alone. Hence, once it is properly (...)
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  15. Future Ontology: Indeterminate Existence or Non-existence?Michael Tze-Sung Longenecker - 2020 - Philosophia 48 (4):1493-1500.
    The Growing Block Theory of time says that the metaphysical openness of the future should be understood in terms of there not being any future objects or events. But in a series of works, Ross Cameron, Elizabeth Barnes, and Robbie Williams have developed a competing view that understands metaphysical openness in terms of it being indeterminate whether there exist future objects or events. I argue that the three reasons they give for preferring their account are not compelling. And since the (...)
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  16. The future, and what might have been.Graeme A. Forbes & R. A. Briggs - 2019 - Philosophical Studies 176 (2):505-532.
    We show that five important elements of the ‘nomological package’— laws, counterfactuals, chances, dispositions, and counterfactuals—needn’t be a problem for the Growing-Block view. We begin with the framework given in Briggs and Forbes (in The real truth about the unreal future. Oxford studies in metaphysics. Oxford University Press, Oxford, 2012 ), and, taking laws as primitive, we show that the Growing-Block view has the resources to provide an account of possibility, and a natural semantics for non-backtracking causal counterfactuals. We show (...)
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  17. No ground for doomsday.Roberto Loss - 2019 - Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy 62 (9-10):1136-1156.
    ABSTRACTThe ability of providing an adequate supervenience base for tensed truths may seem to be one of the main theoretical advantages of both the growing-block and the moving-spotlight theory of time over presentism. However, in this paper I will argue that some propositions appear to be as problematic for growing-block theorists as past-directed propositions are for presentists, namely propositions stating that nothing will be the case in the future. Furthermore, I will show that the moving-spotlight theory can adequately address all (...)
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  18. The cresting wave: a new moving spotlight theory.Kristie Miller - 2019 - Canadian Journal of Philosophy 49 (1):94-122.
    One argument for the moving spotlight theory is that it better explains certain aspects of our temporal phenomenology than does any static theory of time. Call this the argument from passage phenomenology. In this paper it is argued that insofar as moving spotlight theorists take this to be a sound argument they ought embrace a new version of the moving spotlight theory according to which the moving spotlight is a cresting wave of causal efficacy. On this view it is more (...)
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  19. What is temporal ontology?Natalja Deng - 2018 - Philosophical Studies 175 (3):793-807.
    Temporal ontology is the part of ontology involving the rival positions of presentism, eternalism, and the growing block theory. While this much is clear, it’s surprisingly difficult to elucidate the substance of the disagreement between presentists and eternalists. Certain events happened that are not happening now; what is it to disagree about whether these events exist? In spite of widespread suspicion concerning the status and methods of analytic metaphysics, skeptics’ doubts about this debate have not generally been heeded, neither by (...)
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  20. L’éternité sans le temps.Baptiste Le Bihan - 2018 - Revue Philosophique De Louvain 116 (3):441-462.
    L'éternalisme implique une forme exotique d'éternité : toute entité, aussi éphémère soit-elle et quelle que soit sa localisation dans le temps, existe relativement à toute autre localisation temporelle. Cet essai vise, premièrement, à défendre l'éternalisme en exhibant les difficultés rédhibitoires du présentisme et du non-futurisme, et deuxièmement à examiner de quelle manière l'éternalisme pourrait être amendé à l'aune d'une affirmation que l'on trouve sous la plume de certains physiciens, à savoir que, fondamentalement, le temps n'existe pas. La disparition du temps (...)
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  21. Imprints in time: towards a moderately robust past.Michael Longenecker - 2018 - Philosophical Studies 175 (10):2429-2446.
    Presentism says that only present objects exist. But the view has trouble grounding past-tensed truths like “dinosaurs existed”. Standard Eternalism grounds those truths by positing the existence of past objects—like dinosaurs. But Standard Eternalism conflicts with the intuition that there is genuine change—the intuition that there once were dinosaurs and no longer are any. I offer a novel theory of time—‘The Imprint’—that does a better job preserving both the grounding and genuine change intuitions. The Imprint says that the past and (...)
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  22. The new growing block theory vs presentism.Kristie Miller - 2018 - Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy 61 (3):223-251.
    It was once held to be a virtue of the growing block theory that it combines temporal dynamism with a straightforward account of in virtue of what past-tensed propositions are true, and an explanation for why some future-tensed propositions are not true (assuming they are not). This put the growing block theory ahead of its principal dynamist rival: presentism. Recently, new growing block theorists have suggested that what makes true, past-tensed propositions, is not the same kind of thing as what (...)
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  23. Time Travel and the Movable Present.Sara Bernstein - 2017 - In John Keller (ed.), Being, Freedom, and Method: Themes from the Philosophy of Peter van Inwagen. pp. 80-94.
    In "Changing the Past" (2010), Peter van Inwagen argues that a time traveler can change the past without paradox in a growing block universe. After erasing the portion of past existence that generates paradox, a new, non-paradox-generating block can be "grown" after the temporal relocation of the time traveler. -/- I articulate and explore the underlying mechanism of Van Inwagen's model: the time traveler's control over the location of the objective present. Van Inwagen's model is aimed at preventing paradox by (...)
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  24. Making Sense of the Growing Block View.Natalja Deng - 2017 - Philosophia 45 (3):1113-1127.
    In this paper, I try to make sense of the growing block view using Kit Fine’s three-fold classification of A-theoretic views of time. I begin by motivating the endeavor of making sense of the growing block view by examining John Earman’s project in ‘Reassessing the prospects for a growing block model of the universe’. Next, I review Fine’s reconstruction of McTaggart’s argument and its accompanying three-fold classification of A-theoretic views. I then consider three interpretations of Earman’s growing block model: the (...)
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  25. Time Passages.Miller Kristie - 2017 - Journal of Consciousness Studies 24 (3-4):149-176.
    Temporal dynamists argue that we should believe that there exists temporal passage because there being passage is the best explanation for the presence of our temporal phenomenology. Some non-dynamists have countered that the presence of passage makes no difference to our temporal phenomenology, and consequently that temporal phenomenology cannot be evidence that there is passage. This paper attempts to bolster this non-dynamist response by offering new arguments for the claim that the presence of passage makes no difference to our phenomenology.
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  26. A Taxonomy of Views about Time in Buddhist and Western Philosophy.Kristie Miller - 2017 - Philosophy East and West 67 (3):763-782.
    We find the claim that time is not real in both western and eastern philosophical traditions. In what follows I will call the view that time does not exist temporal error theory. Temporal error theory was made famous in western analytic philosophy in the early 1900s by John McTaggart (1908) and, in much the same tradition, temporal error theory was subsequently defended by Gödel (1949). The idea that time is not real, however, stretches back much further than that. It is (...)
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  27. Presentness, Where Art Thou? Self-locating Belief and the Moving Spotlight.Kristie Miller - 2017 - Analysis 77 (4):777-788.
    Ross Cameron's The Moving Spotlight argues that of the three most common dynamical theories of time – presentism, the growing block theory and the moving spotlight theory – his version of the MST is the best. This paper focuses on Cameron's response the epistemic objection. It considers two of Cameron's arguments: that a standard version of the MST can successfully resist the epistemic objection, and that Cameron's preferred version of the MST has an additional avenue open to it for resisting (...)
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  28. Presentism: Foreigner-Friendly or Xenophobic?Bryan Frances - 2016 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 94 (3):479-488.
    I argue that, for all we know, there are perfectly ordinary actual entities that are temporal in the usual sense and yet never present, past, or future. This epistemic fact requires us to modify the theses of presentism and eternalism. More importantly, it generates three new and quite serious objections to presentism, which I formulate and partially evaluate in this paper.
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  29. Temporary Safety Hazards.Jeffrey Sanford Russell - 2016 - Noûs 50 (4):152-174.
    The Epistemic Objection says that certain theories of time imply that it is impossible to know which time is absolutely present. Standard presentations of the Epistemic Objection are elliptical—and some of the most natural premises one might fill in to complete the argument end up leading to radical skepticism. But there is a way of filling in the details which avoids this problem, using epistemic safety. The new version has two interesting upshots. First, while Ross Cameron alleges that the Epistemic (...)
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  30. No-futurism and Metaphysical Contingentism.Baptiste Le Bihan - 2014 - Axiomathes 24 (4):483-497.
    According to no-futurism, past and present entities are real, but future ones are not. This view faces a skeptical challenge (Bourne 2002, 2006, Braddon-Mitchell, 2004): if no-futurism is true, how do you know you are present? I shall propose a new skeptical argument based on the physical possibility of Gödelian worlds (1949). This argument shows that a no-futurist has to endorse a metaphysical contingentist reading of no-futurism, the view that no-futurism is contingently true. But then, the no-futurist has to face (...)
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  31. Presentism, eternalism, and the growing block.Kristie Miller - 2013 - In Heather Dyke & Adrian Bardon (eds.), A Companion to the Philosophy of Time. Wiley-Blackwell. pp. 345-364.
    This paper has three main sections. The first section provides a general characterisation of presentism, eternalism and growing blockism. It presents a pair of core, defining claims that jointly capture each of these three views. This makes clear the respects in which the different views agree, and the respects in which they disagree, about the nature of time. The second section takes these characterisations and considers whether we really do have three distinct views, or whether defenders of these views are (...)
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  32. The Real Truth About the Unreal Future.Rachael Briggs & Graeme A. Forbes - 2012 - In Karen Bennett & Dean Zimmerman (eds.), Oxford Studies in Metaphysics, volume 7.
    Growing-Block theorists hold that past and present things are real, while future things do not yet exist. This generates a puzzle: how can Growing-Block theorists explain the fact that some sentences about the future appear to be true? Briggs and Forbes develop a modal ersatzist framework, on which the concrete actual world is associated with a branching-time structure of ersatz possible worlds. They then show how this branching structure might be used to determine the truth values of future contingents. They (...)
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  33. Ontologia del temps: dos debats en la tradició analítica.Joan Ferrarons-Llagostera - 2012 - Alia: Revista de Estudios Transversales 1:67-80.
    En aquest article es presenten dues teories sobre la naturalesa del temps i s’analitzen objeccions que s’hi han presentat els darrers anys en el marc de la filosofia analítica. La primera sosté que el passat i el futur no són reals, i presenta el problema de com es poden expressar proposicions veritables sobre temps no presents. D’acord amb la segona teoria, per contra, tots els temps —present, passat i futur— són igual de reals, però això sembla implicar que el futur (...)
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  34. Consciousness and causation in Whitehead's phenomenology of becoming.Anderson Weekes - 2009 - In Michel Weber & Anderson Weekes (eds.), Process Approaches to Consciousness in Psychology, Neuroscience, and Philosophy of Mind. aLBANY: State University of New York Press. pp. 407-461.
    The problem causation poses is: how can we ever know more than a Humean regularity. The problem consciousness poses is: how can subjective phenomenal experience arise from something lacking experience. A recent turn in the consciousness debates suggest that the hard problem of consciousness is nothing more than the Humean problem of explaining any causal nexus in an intelligible way. This involution of the problems invites comparison with the theories of Alfred North Whitehead, who also saw them related in this (...)
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  35. Review of Time, Tense, and Causation by M. Tooley. [REVIEW]Heather Dyke - 1999 - International Philosophical Quarterly 39 (1):100-101.
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  36. Growing block time structures for mathematical and conscious ontologies.Sylvain Poirier - manuscript
    A version of the growing block theory of time is developed based on the choice of both consciousness and mathematics as fundamental substances, while dismissing the reality/semantics distinction usually assumed by works on time theory. The well-analyzable growing block structure of mathematical ontology revealed by mathematical logic, is used as a model for a possible deeper working of conscious time. Physical reality is explained as emerging from a combination of both substances, with a proposed specific version of the Consciousness Causes (...)
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