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  1. Flagpoles Anyone? Causal and Explanatory Asymmetries.James Woodward - 2022 - Theoria. An International Journal for Theory, History and Foundations of Science 37 (1):7-52.
    This paper discusses some procedures developed in recent work in machine learning for inferring causal direction from observational data. The role of independence and invariance assumptions is emphasized. Several familiar examples including Hempel’s flagpole problem are explored in the light of these ideas. The framework is then applied to problems having to do with explanatory direction in non-causal explanation.
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  • The Fate of Causal Structure Under Time Reversal.Porter Williams - 2022 - Theoria. An International Journal for Theory, History and Foundations of Science 37 (1):87-102.
    What happens to the causal structure of a world when time is reversed? At first glance it seems there are two possible answers: the causal relations are reversed, or they are not. I argue that neither of these answers is correct: we should either deny that time-reversed worlds have causal relations at all, or deny that causal concepts developed in the actual world are reliable guides to the causal structure of time-reversed worlds. The first option is motivated by the instability (...)
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  • Entanglement, Complexity, and Causal Asymmetry in Quantum Theories.Porter Williams - 2022 - Foundations of Physics 52 (2):1-38.
    It is often claimed that one cannot locate a notion of causation in fundamental physical theories. The reason most commonly given is that the dynamics of those theories do not support any distinction between the past and the future, and this vitiates any attempt to locate a notion of causal asymmetry—and thus of causation—in fundamental physical theories. I argue that this is incorrect: the ubiquitous generation of entanglement between quantum systems grounds a relevant asymmetry in the dynamical evolution of quantum (...)
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  • Timeless Causation?Zhiheng Tang - forthcoming - Acta Analytica:1-9.
    This paper presents a line of thought against the possibility of causation without time. That possibility, insofar as it is supposedly rested upon a Lewisian counterfactual theory of causation, does not stand up to scrutiny. The key point is that, as a reflection on the trans-world identity of events reveals, events deprived of times are—according to Lewis’s own semantics of counterfactuals—no longer eligible to stand in counterfactual dependence.
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  • Experimental Philosophy on Time.James Norton - 2021 - Philosophy Compass (11).
    Appeals to the ‘common sense’, or ‘naïve’, or ‘folk’ concept of time, and the purported phenomenology as of time passing, play a substantial role in philosophical theorising about time. When making these appeals, philosophers have been content to draw upon their own assumptions about how non-philosophers think about time. This paper reviews a series of recent experiments bringing these assumptions into question. The results suggest that the way non-philosophers think about time is far less metaphysically demanding than philosophers have assumed.
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  • Spontaneous Collapse Theories and Temporal Primitivism about Time’s Direction.Cristian López - 2022 - Foundations of Physics 52 (5):1-22.
    Two views on the direction of time can be distinguished—primitivism and non-primitivism. According to the former, time’s direction is an in-built, fundamental property of the physical world. According to the latter, time’s direction is a derivative property of a fundamentally directionless reality. In the literature, non-primitivism has been widely supported since most our fundamental dynamical laws are time-reversal invariant. In this paper, I offer a way out to the primitivist. I argue that we do have good grounds to support a (...)
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  • Time in a One‐Instant World.Andrew J. Latham & Kristie Miller - 2020 - Ratio 33 (3):145-154.
    Many philosophers hold that ‘one-instant worlds’—worlds that contain a single instant—fail to contain time. We experimentally investigate whether these worlds satisfy the folk concept of time. We found that ~50% of participants hold that there is time in such worlds. We argue that this suggests one of two possibilities. First, the population disagree about whether at least one of the A-, B-, or C-series is necessary for time, with there being a substantial sub-population for whom the presence of neither an (...)
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  • Are the Folk Functionalists About Time?Andrew J. Latham & Kristie Miller - 2022 - Southern Journal of Philosophy 60 (2):221-248.
    This paper empirically investigates the contention that the folk concept of time is a functional concept: a concept according to which time is whatever plays a certain functional role or roles. This hypothesis could explain why, in previous research, surprisingly large percentages of participants judge that there is time at worlds that contain no one-dimensional substructure of ordered instants. If it seems to participants that even in those worlds the relevant functional role is played, then this could explain why they (...)
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  • An Empirical Investigation of the Role of Direction in our Concept of Time.Andrew J. Latham, Kristie Miller & James Norton - 2021 - Acta Analytica 36 (1):25-47.
    This paper empirically investigates one aspect of the folk concept of time by testing how the presence or absence of directedness impacts judgements about whether there is time in a world. Experiment 1 found that dynamists, showed significantly higher levels of agreement that there is time in dynamically directed worlds than in non-dynamical non-directed worlds. Comparing our results to those we describe in Latham et al., we report that while ~ 70% of dynamists say there is time in B-theory worlds, (...)
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  • 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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  • C‐Theories of Time: On the Adirectionality of Time.Matt Farr - 2020 - Philosophy Compass (12):1-17.
    “The universe is expanding, not contracting.” Many statements of this form appear unambiguously true; after all, the discovery of the universe’s expansion is one of the great triumphs of empirical science. However, the statement is time-directed: the universe expands towards what we call the future; it contracts towards the past. If we deny that time has a direction, should we also deny that the universe is really expanding? This article draws together and discusses what I call ‘C-theories’ of time — (...)
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  • Relational Passage of Time.Matias Slavov - 2022 - New York: Routledge.
    This book defends a relational theory of the passage of time. The realist view of passage developed in this book differs from the robust, substantivalist position. According to relationism, passage is nothing over and above the succession of events, one thing coming after another. Causally related events are temporally arranged as they happen one after another along observers’ worldlines. There is no unique global passage but a multiplicity of local passages of time. After setting out this positive argument for relationism, (...)
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  • Perceiving Direction in Directionless Time.Matt Farr - 2022 - In Kasia M. Jaszczolt (ed.), Understanding Human Time. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
    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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