The Passage of Time

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  1. Temporal Experience and the A Versus B Debate.Natalja Deng - 2017 - In Routledge Handbook of Philosophy of Temporal Experience.
    This chapter discusses some aspects of the relation between temporal experience and the A versus B debate. To begin with, I provide an overview of the A versus B debate and, following Baron et al. (2015), distinguish between two B-theoretic responses to the A- theoretic argument from experience, veridicalism and illusionism. I then argue for veridicalism over illusionism, by examining our (putative) experiences as of presentness and as of time passing. I close with some remarks on the relation between veridicalism (...)
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  2. The Block Universe: A Philosophical Investigation in Four Dimensions.Pieter Thyssen - 2020 - Dissertation, KU Leuven
    The aim of this doctoral dissertation is to closely explore the nature of Einstein’s block universe and to tease out its implications for the nature of time and human freedom. Four questions, in particular, are central to this dissertation, and set out the four dimensions of this philosophical investigation: (1) Does the block universe view of time follow inevitably from the theory of special relativity? (2) Is there room for the passage of time in the block universe? (3) Can we (...)
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  3. On McTaggart’s Theory of Time.Edward Freeman - 2010 - History of Philosophy Quarterly 27 (4):389-401.
    J. McTaggart argues that the philosophical conception of time is constituted by the notions of fluid and static time. Since, on his view, neither notion is philosophically viable, he concludes that time is nothing but an illusion that arises from our distorted perception of essentially atemporal reality. In the paper, I argue that despite McTaggart’s failure to prove the unreality of time as such, he does succeed in establishing his lesser claim that the concept of fluid time is without any (...)
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  4. Motivation and Synopsis of the New Theory of Time.Paul Merriam - manuscript
    The motivation comes from the analogy (equivalence?) of the A-series to ontologically private qualia in Dualism. This leads to the proposal that two quantum systems, no matter how small, mutually observe each other when and only when they come to share the same A-series. McTaggart's A-series and B-series can be varied independently so they cannot be the same temporal variable.
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  5. Spatially-Rotated Paintings: A Reply to Markosian’s "Sideways Music".Shen-yi Liao - manuscript
    In “Sideways Music”, Ned Markosian uses aesthetic intuitions about temporally-rotated music to argue that the metaphysics of time is different from the metaphysics of space. In response, I use aesthetic intuitions about spatially-rotated paintings to pose a dilemma for Markosian’s argument: either he accepts the intuitions about spatially-rotated paintings, in which case he must give up on some assumptions in his argument, or he rejects intuitions about spatially-rotated paintings, in which case an analogous response can be given regarding intuitions about (...)
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  6. Sideways Music.Ned Markosian - 2019 - Analysis (1):anz039.
    There is a popular theory in the metaphysics of time according to which time is one of four similar dimensions that make up a single manifold that is appropriately called spacetime. One consequence of this thesis is that changing an object’s orientation in the manifold does not change its intrinsic features. In this paper I offer a new argument against this popular theory. I claim that an especially good performance of a particularly beautiful piece of music, when oriented within the (...)
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  7. 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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  8. The Quale of Time.Cosmin Vișan - 2019 - Philosophies 4 (2):1-18.
    Time is one of the greatest subjects of interest to the disciplines of both Science and Philosophy, being seen to have a greater importance in the workings of reality than other entities. In this paper, a phenomenological analysis of time based on the general workings of the emergent structure of consciousness will be done, and time will be shown to be no different than any other qualia. It will be shown that, like any other qualia, time is an emergent level (...)
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  9. A Critique of Susanne Langer’s View of Musical Temporality.Eran Guter & Inbal Guter - 2018 - Proceedings of the European Society for Aesthetics, Vol. 10.
    Susanne Langer’s idea of the primary apparition of music involves a dichotomy between two kinds of temporality: “felt time” and “clock time.” For Langer, musical time is exclusively felt time, and in this sense, music is “time made audible.” However, Langer also postulates what we would call ‘a strong suspension thesis’: the swallowing up of clock time in the illusion of felt time. In this paper we take issue with the ‘strong suspension thesis’ and its implications and ramifications regarding not (...)
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  10. 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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  11. 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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  12. Modern Times: Law, Temporality and Happiness in Hobbes, Locke and Bentham.José Brunner - 2007 - Theoretical Inquiries in Law 8 (1):277-310.
    This Article shows how three modern English thinkers — Hobbes, Locke and Bentham — construe the law as an intersection of secular eternity on the one one hand and transience in modernity on the other, allowing for immovability and movement at the same time, combining stability with change. It details how these theorists, who undoubtedly have earned themselves places of honor in the canon of modern political thought, tried to solve the problem of self-grounding in three different and yet paradigmatically (...)
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A-Theories of Time
  1. Two-Dimensional Time.Michael Kowalik - manuscript
    Philosophical views about the logical structure of time are typically divided between proponents of A and B theories, based on McTaggart's A and B series. Drawing on Paul Ricoeur's hermeneutic phenomenology, I develop and defend McTaggart's thesis that the C series and the A series working together give a consistent description of temporal experience, provided that the two series are treated as distinct dimensions internal to time. In the proposed two-dimensional model, the C series expresses a nesting order of the (...)
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  2. McTaggart on the Unreality of Time: Boghossian's Argument against Error-Theory.Ali Hossein Khani & Saeedeh Shahmir - 2020 - Zehn 81:91-115.
    McTaggart, in his famous paper, “The Unreality of Time” (1908), argues in favor of the sceptical claim that time is unreal. His main argument is based on detecting a paradox in our ordinary descriptions of time or events occurring in time. Based on our common sense conception of time, time and the events happening in it can be described in two ways: either as having the properties of “being past”, “being present” and “being future”, or as having the properties of (...)
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  3. Diamonds Are Forever.Cian Dorr & Jeremy Goodman - 2020 - Noûs 54 (3):632-665.
    We defend the thesis that every necessarily true proposition is always true. Since not every proposition that is always true is necessarily true, our thesis is at odds with theories of modality and time, such as those of Kit Fine and David Kaplan, which posit a fundamental symmetry between modal and tense operators. According to such theories, just as it is a contingent matter what is true at a given time, it is likewise a temporary matter what is true at (...)
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  4. Is the World a Heap of Quantum Fragments?Samuele Iaquinto & Claudio Calosi - forthcoming - Philosophical Studies.
    Fragmentalism was originally introduced as a new A-theory of time. It was further refined and discussed, and different developments of the original insight have been proposed. In a celebrated paper, Jonathan Simon contends that fragmentalism delivers a new realist account of the quantum state—which he calls conservative realism—according to which: (i) the quantum state is a complete description of a physical system; (ii) the quantum (superposition) state is grounded in its terms, and (iii) the superposition terms are themselves grounded in (...)
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  5. Exploring People’s Beliefs About the Experience of Time.Jack Shardlow, Ruth Lee, Christoph Hoerl, Teresa McCormack, Patrick Burns & Alison S. Fernandes - forthcoming - Synthese:1-23.
    Philosophical debates about the metaphysics of time typically revolve around two contrasting views of time. On the A-theory, time is something that itself undergoes change, as captured by the idea of the passage of time; on the B-theory, all there is to time is events standing in before/after or simultaneity relations to each other, and these temporal relations are unchanging. Philosophers typically regard the A-theory as being supported by our experience of time, and they take it that the B-theory clashes (...)
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  6. Dynamic Absolutism and Qualitative Change.Bahadır Eker - forthcoming - Philosophical Studies:1-11.
    According to Fine’s famous take on the infamous McTaggartian paradox, realism about tensed facts is incompatible with the joint acceptence of three very general and seemingly plausible theses about reality. However, Correia and Rosenkranz have recently objected that Fine’s argument depends on a crucial assumption about the nature of tensed facts; once that assumption is given up, they claim, realists can endorse the theses in question without further ado. They also argue that their novel version of tense realism, called dynamic (...)
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  7. The Invisible Thin Red Line.Giuliano Torrengo & Samuele Iaquinto - 2020 - Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 101:354-382.
    The aim of this paper is to argue that the adoption of an unrestricted principle of bivalence is compatible with a metaphysics that (i) denies that the future is real, (ii) adopts nomological indeterminism, and (iii) exploits a branching structure to provide a semantics for future contingent claims. To this end, we elaborate what we call Flow Fragmentalism, a view inspired by Kit Fine (2005)’s non-standard tense realism, according to which reality is divided up into maximally coherent collections of tensed (...)
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  8. Can Time Flow at Different Rates? The Differential Passage of A-Ness.Kristie Miller & James Norton - forthcoming - Philosophical Studies:1-26.
    According to the No Alternate Possibilities (NAP) argument, (1) if time passes then the rate at which it passes could be different but (2) time cannot pass at different rates, and hence (3) time cannot pass. Typically, defenders of the NAP argument have focussed on defending premise (1), and have taken the truth of (2) for granted: they accept the orthodox view of rate necessitarianism. In this paper we argue that the defender of the NAP argument needs to turn her (...)
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  9. What Is It Like To Be Past?Ernani Magalhaes - manuscript
    The Growing Block Theory of time asserts that temporal reality encompasses all present and past things. The world grows as things come to be present. When something becomes past it does not cease to be, it simply moves away from the growing edge of reality. Thus past things are just like present ones, except not present. But if past things are just as real as present ones, and qualitatively just like them, how can I tell if what is happening is (...)
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  10. Schrodinger's Cat Meets McTaggart and the Problem of Other Minds.Paul Merriam - manuscript
    This paper proposes an interpretation of time that is an 'A-theory' in that it incorporates both McTaggart's A-series and his B-series. The A-series characteristics are supposed to be 'ontologically private' analogous to qualia in the problem of other minds and is given a definition. The main idea is that the experimenter and the cat do not share the same A-series characteristics, e.g the same 'now'. So there is no single time at which the cat gets ascribed different states. It is (...)
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  11. Explaining Temporal Qualia.Matt Farr - 2020 - European Journal for Philosophy of Science 10 (1):1-24.
    Experiences of motion and change are widely taken to have a ‘flow-like’ quality. Call this ‘temporal qualia’. Temporal qualia are commonly thought to be central to the question of whether time objectively passes: (1) passage realists take temporal passage to be necessary in order for us to have the temporal qualia we do; (2) passage antirealists typically concede that time appears to pass, as though our temporal qualia falsely represent time as passing. I reject both claims and make the case (...)
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  12. McTaggart Saves Schrodinger's Cat?Paul Merriam - manuscript
    This paper proposes an interpretation of time that is an 'A-theory' in that it incorporates both McTaggart's A-series and his B-series. The A-series characteristics are supposed to be 'ontologically private' analogous to qualia in the Inverted Spectrum thought experiment and is given a definition. The main idea is that the experimenter and the cat do not share the same A-series characteristics. So there is no single time at which the cat gets ascribed different states. It is proposed one may define (...)
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  13. Modal Fragmentalism.Samuele Iaquinto - 2020 - The Philosophical Quarterly 70 (280):570-587.
    In this paper I will argue that there is a version of possibilism—inspired by the modal analogue of Kit Fine’s fragmentalism—that can be combined with a weakening of actualism. The reasons for analysing this view, which I call Modal Fragmentalism, are twofold. Firstly, it can enrich our understanding of the actualism/possibilism divide, by showing that, at least in principle, the adoption of possibilia does not correspond to an outright rejection of the actualist intuitions. Secondly, and more specifically, it can enrich (...)
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  14. Do the Folk Represent Time as Essentially Dynamical?Andrew James Latham, Kristie Miller & James Norton - forthcoming - Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy.
    Recent research (Latham, Miller and Norton, forthcoming) reveals that a majority of people represent actual time as dynamical. But do they, as suggested by McTaggart and Gödel, represent time as essentially dynamical? This paper distinguishes three interrelated questions. We ask (a) whether the folk representation of time is sensitive or insensitive: i.e., does what satisfies the folk representation of time in counterfactual worlds depend on what satisfies it actually—sensitive—or does is not depend on what satisfies it actually—insensitive, and (b) do (...)
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  15. From McTaggart to AdS_5 Geometry 2.Paul Merriam - manuscript
    The purpose of this note is to show how an 'AB-series' interpretation of time, given in a companion paper, leads, surprisingly, to AdS_5 geometry. This is not a theory of 2 time dimensions. Rather, it is a theory of 1 time dimension that has both A-series and B-series characteristics.
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  16. If Time Can Pass, Time Can Pass at Different Rates.Kristie Miller & James Norton - forthcoming - Analytic Philosophy.
    According to the No Alternate Possibilities argument, if time passes then the rate at which it passes could be different. Thus, time cannot pass, since if time passes, then necessarily it passes at a rate of 1 second per second. One response to this argument is to posit hypertime, and to argue that at different worlds, time passes at different rates when measured against hypertime. Since many A-theorists think we can make sense of temporal passage without positing hypertime, we pursue (...)
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  17. Fragmentalist Presentist Perdurantism.Samuele Iaquinto - 2019 - Philosophia 47 (3):693-703.
    Perdurantists think of continuants as mereological sums of stages from different times. This view of persistence would force us to drop the idea that there is genuine change in the world. By exploiting a presentist metaphysics, Brogaard proposed a theory, called presentist four-dimensionalism, that aims to reconcile perdurantism with the idea that things undergo real change. However, her proposal commits us to reject the idea that stages must exist in their entirety. Giving up the tenet that all the stages are (...)
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  18. Flow Fragmentalism.Giuliano Torrengo & Samuele Iaquinto - 2019 - Theoria 85 (3):185-201.
    In this paper, we articulate a version of non-standard A-theory – which we call Flow Fragmentalism – in relation to its take on the issue of supervenience of truth on being. According to the Truth Supervenes on Being (TSB) Principle, the truth of past- and future-tensed propositions supervenes, respectively, on past and future facts. Since the standard presentist denies the existence of past and future entities and facts concerning them that do not obtain in the present, she seems to lack (...)
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  19. Notes 2 A Theory of Time 6 7 2019.Paul Merriam - manuscript
    A theory of time was proposed in "A theory of time", an early version of which is on PhilPapers. The idea was that the A-series features of a physical system are ontologically private, and this was given a mathematical definition. Also B-series features are ontologically public. This brief note is a detailed rumination on path-integrals and Schrodinger's Cat, in this theory.
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  20. Towards an AB-Series Interpretation of Time in Physics.Paul Merriam - manuscript
    How can McTaggart's A-series notion of time be incorporated into physics while retaining the B-series notion? It may be the A-series 'now' can be construed as ontologically private. How is that modeled? Could a definition of a combined AB-series entropy help with the Past Hypothesis problem? What if the increase in entropy as a system goes from earlier times to later times is canceled by the decrease in entropy as a system goes from future, to present, to past?
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  21. Eternal God: Divine Atemporality in Thomas Aquinas.John H. Boyer - 2014 - In Darci N. Hill (ed.), News from the Raven: Essays from Sam Houston State University on Medieval and Renaissance Thought. Newcastle upon Tyne, UK: pp. 262-285.
    The recent trend among many philosophers of religion has been to interpret divine eternity as an everlasting temporality in which an omnitemporal God exists in and throughout the whole of time. This is in contrast to the classical account of divine eternity as atemporal, immutable existence. In this paper, Aquinas' use of Boethius's definition of eternity as “the whole, perfect, and simultaneous possession of endless life” is analyzed and explained in contradistinction to Aristotle's definition of time. This analysis is then (...)
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  22. 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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  23. The Unique Groundability of Temporal Facts.John Cusbert & Kristie Miller - 2018 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 97 (2):410-432.
    The A-theory and the B-theory advance competing claims about how time is grounded. The A-theory says that A-facts are more fundamental in grounding time than are B-facts, and the B-theory says the reverse. We argue that whichever theory is true of the actual world is also true of all possible worlds containing time. We do this by arguing that time is uniquely groundable: however time is actually grounded, it is necessarily grounded in that way. It follows that if either the (...)
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  24. Fine's Trilemma and the Reality of Tensed Facts.Roberto Loss - 2018 - Thought: A Journal of Philosophy 7 (3):209-217.
    Fine (2005, 2006) has presented a ‘trilemma’ concerning the tense-realist idea that reality is constituted by tensed facts. According to Fine, there are only three ways out of the trilemma, consisting in what he takes to be the three main families of tense-realism: ‘presentism’, ‘(external) relativism’, and ‘fragmentalism’. Importantly, although Fine characterises tense-realism as the thesis that reality is constituted (at least in part) by tensed facts, he explicitly claims that tense realists are not committed to their fundamental existence. Recently, (...)
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  25. 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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  26. 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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  27. Experiencing Time. [REVIEW]Kourken Michaelian - 2018 - Philosophical Quarterly 68 (272):642-644.
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  28. Turning the Tables on McTaggart.Emiliano Boccardi - 2018 - Philosophy (3):1-16.
    According to A-theories of time, the metaphysical ground of change and dynamicity is provided by a continuous shifting in which events are past, present and future (A-determinations). It is often claimed that these theories make better sense of our experience of dynamicity than their rival, the B-theories; according to the latter, dynamicity is grounded solely in the irreducible earlier-than relations (B-relations) which obtain between events or states of affairs. In this paper, I argue that the experience of time's dynamicity, on (...)
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  29. R. Cameron, The Moving Spotlight. An Essay on Time and Ontology, OUP, Oxford, 2015. [REVIEW]Samuele Iaquinto & Valerio Buonomo - 2017 - Argumenta 2:375-377.
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  30. The Temporal Knowledge Argument 2.Paul Merriam - manuscript
    How does the temporal knowledge argument fair when exposed to Chalmers' 2-dimensional analysis of the knowledge argument?
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  31. Time Flows at 1 B-Second Per A-Second.Paul Merriam - manuscript
    I suggest time flows at 1 B-series second per A-series second.
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  32. Hybrid Time Physics.Paul Merriam - manuscript
    I accept that McTaggart's A-series and B-series are not inter-reducible and that both are needed for a complete temporal description of a physical system. I consider the Wigner's Friend thought experiment. The A-series are associated with each (quantum) system, and relativity is associated with the B-series. I consider temporal evolution through this 'hybrid' time. We may define the rate of temporal flow as 1 B-series second per A-series second.
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  33. 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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  34. Replies to Deng, Lee, and Skow.Simon Prosser - 2018 - Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy 61 (3):328-350.
    This paper is a contribution to a book symposium on my book Experiencing Time. I reply to comments on the book by Natalja Deng, Geoffrey Lee and Bradford Skow. Although several chapters of the book are discussed, the main focus of my reply is on Chapters 2 and 6. In Chapter 2 I argue that the putative mind-independent passage of time could not be experienced, and from this I develop an argument against the A-theory of time. In Chapter 6 I (...)
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  35. Temporal Phenomenology: Phenomenological Illusion Versus Cognitive Error.Kristie Miller, Alex Holcombe & Andrew James Latham - 2020 - Synthese 197 (2):751-771.
    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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  36. Presentism, Passage, Phenomenology and Physicalism.Kristie Miller & Jane Weiling Loo - 2016 - Manuscrito 39 (4):183-201.
    ABSTRACT 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. Presentists argue that presentism is the best version of temporal dynamism. Therefore, conditional on us accepting temporal dynamism, we should accept presentism. In this paper it is argued that if we understand temporal passage as the presentist does, such an argument can succeed only if dualism is true. Thus, we conclude, either presentists (...)
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  37. 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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  38. Do We Really Experience Temporal Passage?: Simon Prosser: Experiencing Time. Oxford and New York: Oxford University Press, 2016, $74.00 HB. [REVIEW]Rognvaldur Ingthorsson - 2017 - Metascience 26 (2):263-266.
    A review of Simon Prosser's book Experiencing Time.
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