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Conventionalism about time direction

Synthese 200 (1):1-21 (2022)

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  1. What’s so special about initial conditions? Understanding the past hypothesis in directionless time.Matt Farr - 2022 - In Yemima Ben-Menahem (ed.), Rethinking Laws of Nature. Springer.
    It is often said that the world is explained by laws of nature together with initial conditions. But does that mean initial conditions don’t require further explanation? And does the explanatory role played by initial conditions entail or require that time has a preferred direction? This chapter looks at the use of the ‘initialness defence’ in physics, the idea that initial conditions are intrinsically special in that they don’t require further explanation, unlike the state of the world at other times. (...)
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  • Perceiving Direction in Directionless Time.Matt Farr - 2023 - In Kasia M. Jaszczolt (ed.), Understanding Human Time. Oxford University Press. pp. 199-219.
    Modern physics has provided a range of motivations for holding time to be fundamentally undirected. But how does a temporally adirectional metaphysics, or ‘C-theory’ of time, fit with the time of experience? In this chapter, I look at what kind of problem human time poses for C-theories. First, I ask whether there is a ‘hard problem’ of human time: whether it is in principle impossible to have the kinds of experience we do in a temporally adirectional world. Second I consider (...)
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