Time Travel

Edited by Sam Baron (University of Western Australia)
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  1. added 2019-01-14
    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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  2. added 2018-12-29
    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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  3. added 2018-09-22
    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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  4. added 2018-06-05
    Two Arguments From Sider's Four-Dimensionalism. [REVIEW]Ned Markosian - 2004 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 68 (3):665–673.
    In this essay for a PPR book symposium on Theodore Sider's _Four-Dimensionalism<D>, I focus on two of Sider's arguments for four-dimensionalism: (i) his argument from vagueness, and (ii) his argument from time travel. Concerning (i), I first show that Sider's argument commits him to certain strange consequences that many four-dimensionalists may not endorse, and then I discuss an objection that involves appealing to 'brutal composition', the view that there is no informative answer to Peter van Inwagen's 'special composition question'. Concerning (...)
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  5. added 2018-02-17
    Do Cry Over Spilt Milk: Possibly You Can Change the Past.Peter B. M. Vranas - 2005 - The Monist 88 (3):370-387.
    There is widespread agreement, even among those who accept the possibility of backward causation, that it is impossible to change the past. I argue that this agreement corresponds to a relatively uninteresting understanding of what changing the past amounts to. In one sense it is indeed impossible to change the past: in no possible world is an action performed which makes the past in that world different from the past in that world. In another sense, however, it may be possible (...)
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  6. added 2018-02-07
    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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  7. added 2017-10-24
    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. added 2016-08-26
    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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  9. added 2016-06-14
    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. added 2016-03-16
    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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  11. added 2015-11-07
    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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  12. added 2015-09-23
    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. added 2015-09-05
    Due osservazioni sulla metafisica della prescienza.Andrea Guardo - 2013 - Lebenswelt: Aesthetics and Philosophy of Experience 3 (1):47-57.
    A discussion of the possibility of foreknowledge and of the relation between the foreknowledge of our own behaviour and the phenomenology of freedom.
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  14. added 2015-08-09
    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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  15. added 2015-06-22
    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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  16. added 2015-06-16
    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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  17. added 2015-05-19
    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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  18. added 2015-04-07
    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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  19. added 2015-03-21
    Travelling in Time.Kristie Miller - 2006 - Canadian Journal of Philosophy 36 (3):309-334.
    It is possible to wholly exist at multiple spatial locations at the same time. At least, if time travel is possible and objects endure, then such must be the case. To accommodate this possibility requires the introduction of a spatial analog of either relativising properties to times—relativising properties to spatial locations—or of relativising the manner of instantiation to times—relativising the manner of instantiation to spatial locations. It has been suggested, however, that introducing irreducibly spatially relativised or spatially adverbialised properties presents (...)
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  20. added 2015-03-07
    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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  21. added 2015-02-06
    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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  22. added 2014-11-21
    È successo tra qualche anno.Achille C. Varzi - 2009 - In Armando Massarenti (ed.), Stramaledettamente logico. Esercizi di filosofia su pellicola. Laterza. pp. 3–32.
    A discussion of some philosophical themes in the Terminator film series, including: the possibility of time travel, backward causation, the difference between changing the past/future and affecting it, the difference between determinism and fatalism, and how such issues depend on the underlying philosophy of time (eternism vs. presentism vs. the growing-block theory).
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  23. added 2014-09-22
    Presentist Time Travel and the Limits of Presentist Causality.David Pensgard - 2001 - Philosophy 79 (3):333-345.
    A recent account of presentist time travel involves a causal relation between events at two different and discontiguous times, and presentists cannot have such causal relations because presentism rules out the existence of at least one of the two relata in such a relation due to it being non-present. Additionally, presentists cannot have parodies of such causal relations for use in time travel stories because parodies are subject, at least, to the same limitations as the things being parodied. So, the (...)
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  24. added 2014-09-15
    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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  25. added 2014-04-02
    Occupy Wall: A Mereological Puzzle and the Burdens of Endurantism.Paul Richard Daniels - 2014 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 92 (1):91-101.
    Endurantists have recently faced a mereological puzzle in various forms. Here I argue that, instead of presenting a genuine worry, the puzzle actually reveals a common misunderstanding about the endurantist ontology. Furthermore, through this discussion of the alleged problem and the misunderstanding which motivates it, I reveal metaphysical commitments the endurantist has that may not be widely recognized. For instance, she is committed to interesting and perhaps controversial views about shape and location. I highlight these commitments and what they mean (...)
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  26. added 2014-03-18
    Travelling in Time: How to Wholly Exist in Two Places at the Same Time.Kristie Miller - 2006 - Canadian Journal of Philosophy 36 (3):309-334.
    It is possible to wholly exist at multiple spatial locations at the same time. At least, if time travel is possible and objects endure, then such must be the case. To accommodate this possibility requires the introduction of a spatial analog of either relativising properties to times—relativising properties to spatial locations—or of relativising the manner of instantiation to times—relativising the manner of instantiation to spatial locations. It has been suggested, however, that introducing irreducibly spatially relativised or spatially adverbialised properties presents (...)
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  27. added 2014-03-14
    Time Travel and the Open Future.Kristie Miller - 2005 - Disputatio 1 (19):223 - 232.
    In this paper, I argue that the thesis that time travel is logically possible, is inconsistent with the necessary truth of any of the usual ‘open futureobjective present’ models of the universe. It has been relatively uncontroversial until recently to hold that presentism is inconsistent with the possibility of time travel. I argue that recent arguments to the contrary do not show that presentism is consistent with time travel. Moreover, the necessary truth of other open future-objective present models which we (...)
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  28. added 2014-03-09
    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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  29. added 2014-01-14
    What Time Travelers Cannot Not Do (but Are Responsible for Anyway).Joshua Spencer - 2013 - Philosophical Studies 166 (1):149-162.
    The Principle of Alternative Possibilities is the intuitive idea that someone is morally responsible for an action only if she could have done otherwise. Harry Frankfurt has famously presented putative counterexamples to this intuitive principle. In this paper, I formulate a simple version of the Principle of Alternative Possibilities that invokes a course-grained notion of actions. After warming up with a Frankfurt-Style Counterexample to this principle, I introduce a new kind of counterexample based on the possibility of time travel. At (...)
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  30. added 2013-11-04
    Back to the Present: Defending Presentist Time Travel.Paul Richard Daniels - 2012 - Disputatio 4 (33):469 - 484.
    Here I defend the compatibility of presentism and time travel against a few objections. Keller and Nelson argue that, if presentism is at all plausible, presentism and time travel are as compatible as eternalism and time travel. But Miller and Sider are not convinced. I reply that for their concerns to have merit, Miller and Sider must assume presentists are committed to positions they need not be; I explain why presentists are not so committed and, in the process, defend Keller (...)
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  31. added 2012-07-09
    What Are Centered Worlds?Shen-yi Liao - 2012 - Philosophical Quarterly 62 (247):294-316.
    David Lewis argues that centered worlds give us a way to capture de se, or self-locating, contents in philosophy of language and philosophy of mind. In recent years, centered worlds have also gained other uses in areas ranging widely from metaphysics to ethics. In this paper, I raise a problem for centered worlds and discuss the costs and benefits of different solutions. My investigation into the nature of centered worlds brings out potentially problematic implicit commitments of the theories that employ (...)
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  32. added 2012-01-04
    Time Travel and Time Machines.Douglas Kutach - 2013 - In Adrian Bardon & Heather Dyke (eds.), A Companion to the Philosophy of Time. Blackwell.
    Thinking about time travel is an entertaining way to explore how to understand time and its location in the broad conceptual landscape that includes causation, fate, action, possibility, experience, and reality. It is uncontroversial that time travel towards the future exists, and time travel to the past is generally recognized as permitted by Einstein’s general theory of relativity, though no one knows yet whether nature truly allows it. Coherent time travel stories have added flair to traditional debates over the metaphysical (...)
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  33. added 2011-09-15
    It Doesn't Matter What We Do: From Metaphysics to Ethics in Lost's Time Travel.Jeremy Pierce - 2010 - In Sharon Kaye (ed.), Ultimate Lost and Philosophy: Think Together, Die Alone. Wiley/Blackwell.
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  34. added 2011-09-15
    Destiny in Harry Potter.Jeremy Pierce - 2010 - In Gregory Bassham (ed.), The Ultimate Harry Potter and Philosophy: Hogwarts for Muggles.
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  35. added 2011-08-23
    Do the Laws of Physics Forbid the Operation of Time Machines?John Earman, Chris Smeenk & Christian Wüthrich - 2009 - Synthese 169 (1):91 - 124.
    We address the question of whether it is possible to operate a time machine by manipulating matter and energy so as to manufacture closed timelike curves. This question has received a great deal of attention in the physics literature, with attempts to prove no- go theorems based on classical general relativity and various hybrid theories serving as steps along the way towards quantum gravity. Despite the effort put into these no-go theorems, there is no widely accepted definition of a time (...)
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  36. added 2010-09-08
    Paradoxes and Hypodoxes of Time Travel.Peter Eldridge-Smith - 2007 - In Jan Lloyd Jones, Paul Campbell & Peter Wylie (eds.), Art and Time. Australian Scholarly Publishing. pp. 172--189.
    I distinguish paradoxes and hypodoxes among the conundrums of time travel. I introduce ‘hypodoxes’ as a term for seemingly consistent conundrums that seem to be related to various paradoxes, as the Truth-teller is related to the Liar. In this article, I briefly compare paradoxes and hypodoxes of time travel with Liar paradoxes and Truth-teller hypodoxes. I also discuss Lewis’ treatment of time travel paradoxes, which I characterise as a Laissez Faire theory of time travel. Time travel paradoxes are impossible according (...)
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  37. added 2009-10-04
    Time Travel and Time Machines.Chris Smeenk & Christian Wuthrich - 2009 - In Craig Callender (ed.), The Oxford Handbook of Philosophy of Time. Oxford: Oxford University Press. pp. 577-630.
    This paper is an enquiry into the logical, metaphysical, and physical possibility of time travel understood in the sense of the existence of closed worldlines that can be traced out by physical objects. We argue that none of the purported paradoxes rule out time travel either on grounds of logic or metaphysics. More relevantly, modern spacetime theories such as general relativity seem to permit models that feature closed worldlines. We discuss, in the context of Gödel's infamous argument for the ideality (...)
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  38. added 2009-06-11
    What Time Travelers May Be Able to Do.Peter B. M. Vranas - 2010 - Philosophical Studies 150 (1):115 - 121.
    Kadri Vihvelin, in "What time travelers cannot do" (Philos Stud 81: 315-330, 1996), argued that "no time traveler can kill the baby who in fact is her younger self, because (V1) "if someone would fail to do something, no matter how hard or how many times she tried, then she cannot do it", and (V2) if a time traveler tried to kill her baby self, she would always fail. Theodore Sider (Philos Stud 110: 115-138, 2002) criticized Vihvelin's argument, and Ira (...)
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  39. added 2009-06-11
    Can I Kill My Younger Self? Time Travel and the Retrosuicide Paradox.Peter B. M. Vranas - 2009 - Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 90 (4):520-534.
    If time travel is possible, presumably so is my shooting my younger self ; then apparently I can kill him – I can commit retrosuicide. But if I were to kill him I would not exist to shoot him, so how can I kill him? The standard solution to this paradox understands ability as compossibility with the relevant facts and points to an equivocation about which facts are relevant: my killing YS is compossible with his proximity but not with his (...)
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  40. added 2008-12-31
    Location and Perdurance.Antony Eagle - 2010 - In Dean Zimmerman (ed.), Oxford Studies in Metaphysics: Volume 5. Oxford Univerity Press. pp. 53-94.
    Recently, Cody Gilmore has deployed an ingenious case involving backwards time travel to highlight an apparent conflict between the theory that objects persist by perduring, and the thesis that wholly coincident objects are impossible. However, careful attention to the concepts of location and parthood that Gilmore’s cases involve shows that the perdurantist faces no genuine objection from these cases, and that the perdurantist has a number of plausible and dialectically appropriate ways to avoid the supposed conflict.
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  41. added 2008-12-31
    Coinciding Objects and Duration Properties: Reply to Eagle.Cody Gilmore - 2010 - In Dean Zimmerman (ed.), Oxford Studies in Metaphysics: Volume 5. Oxford University Press. pp. 95-111.
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  42. added 2008-12-31
    Time Travel Without Causal Loops.Bradley Monton - 2009 - Philosophical Quarterly 59 (234):54-67.
    It has sometimes been suggested that backwards time travel always incurs causal loops. I show that this is mistaken, by describing worlds where backwards time travel occurs and yet no causal loops occur. Arguments that backwards time travel can occur without causal loops have been given before in the literature, but I show that those arguments are unconvincing.
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