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Time, Tense, and Causation

Oxford University Press (1997)

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  1. The Nature of Appearance in Kant’s Transcendentalism: A Seman- Tico-Cognitive Analysis.Sergey L. Katrechko - 2018 - Kantian Journal 37 (3):41-55.
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  • The Disappearance of Change: Towards a Process Account of Persistence.Anne Sophie Meincke - 2019 - International Journal of Philosophical Studies 27 (1):12-30.
    This paper aims to motivate a new beginning in metaphysical thinking about persistence by drawing attention to the disappearance of change in current accounts of persistence. I defend the claim that the debate is stuck in a dilemma which results from neglecting the constructive role of change for persistence. Neither of the two main competing views, perdurantism and endurantism, captures the idea of persistence as an identity through time. I identify the fundamental ontological reasons for this, namely the shared commitment (...)
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  • The Moving Spotlight Theory.Daniel Deasy - 2015 - Philosophical Studies 172 (8):2073-2089.
    The aim of this paper is to describe and defend the moving spotlight theory of time. I characterise the moving spotlight theory as the conjunction of two theses: permanentism, the thesis that everything exists forever, and the A-theory, the thesis that there is an absolute, objective present time. I begin in Sect. 2 by clearing up some common misconceptions about the moving spotlight theory, focusing on the discussion of the theory in Sider. In doing so, I also fill-out the barebones (...)
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  • 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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  • B-Theory and Time Biases.Sayid Bnefsi - 2019 - In Patrick Blackburn, Per Hasle & Peter Øhrstrøm (eds.), Logic and Philosophy of Time: Further Themes from Prior. Aalborg, Denmark: Aalborg University Press. pp. 41-52.
    We care not only about what experiences we have, but when we have them too. However, on the B-theory of time, something’s timing isn’t an intrinsic way for that thing to be or become. Given B-theory, should we be rationally indifferent about the timing per se of an experience? In this paper, I argue that B-theorists can justify time-biased preferences for pains to be past rather than present and for pleasures to be present rather than past. In support of this (...)
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  • 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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  • The Creation of Institutional Reality, Special Theory of Relativity, and Mere Cambridge Change.Tobias Hansson Wahlberg - forthcoming - Synthese:1-26.
    Saying so can make it so, J. L. Austin taught us long ago. Famously, John Searle has developed this Austinian insight in an account of the construction of institutional reality. Searle maintains that so-called Status Function Declarations, allegedly having a “double direction of fit”, synchronically create worldly institutional facts, corresponding to the propositional content of the declarations. I argue that Searle’s account of the making of institutional reality is in tension with the special theory of relativity – irrespective of whether (...)
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  • The Tenseless Copula in Temporal Predication.Tobias Hansson Wahlberg - 2010 - Erkenntnis 72 (2):267-280.
    In this paper I explore how the tenseless copula is to be interpreted in sentences of the form “a is F at t”, where “a” denotes a persisting, changeable object, “F” stands for a prima facie intrinsic property and “t” for a B-time. I argue that the interpretation of the copula depends on the logical role assigned to the time clause. Having rejected the idea that the time clause is to be treated as a sentence operator, I argue: that if (...)
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  • Relativity and Three Four‐Dimensionalisms.Cody Gilmore, Damiano Costa & Claudio Calosi - 2016 - Philosophy Compass 11 (2):102-120.
    Relativity theory is often said to support something called ‘the four-dimensional view of reality’. But there are at least three different views that sometimes go by this name. One is ‘spacetime unitism’, according to which there is a spacetime manifold, and if there are such things as points of space or instants of time, these are just spacetime regions of different sorts: thus space and time are not separate manifolds. A second is the B-theory of time, according to which the (...)
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  • Where in the Relativistic World Are We?Cody Gilmore - 2006 - Philosophical Perspectives 20 (1):199–236.
    I formulate a theory of persistence in the endurantist family and pose a problem for the conjunction of this theory with orthodox versions of special or general relativity. The problem centers around the question: Where are things?
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  • String Theory, Loop Quantum Gravity and Eternalism.Baptiste Le Bihan - 2020 - European Journal for Philosophy of Science 10:17.
    Eternalism, the view that what we regard locally as being located in the past, the present and the future equally exists, is the best ontological account of temporal existence in line with special and general relativity. However, special and general relativity are not fundamental theories and several research programs aim at finding a more fundamental theory of quantum gravity weaving together all we know from relativistic physics and quantum physics. Interestingly, some of these approaches assert that time is not fundamental. (...)
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  • A-Time to Die: A Growing Block Account of the Evil of Death.Jon Robson - 2014 - Philosophia 42 (4):911-925.
    In this paper I argue that the growing block theory of time has rather surprising, and hitherto unexplored, explanatory benefits when it comes to certain enduring philosophical puzzles concerning death. In particular, I claim the growing block theorist has readily available and convincing answers to the following questions: Why is it an evil to be dead but not an evil to be not yet born? How can death be an evil for the dead if they no longer exist to suffer (...)
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  • Meso-Level Objects, Powers, and Simultaneous Causation.Tobias Hansson Wahlberg - 2017 - Metaphysica 18 (1):107-125.
    I argue that Mumford and Anjum’s recent theory of simultaneous causation among powerful meso-level objects is problematic in several respects: it is based on a false dichotomy, it is incompatible with standard meso-level physics, it is explanatory deficient, and it threatens to render the powers metaphysics incoherent. Powers theorists are advised, therefore, to adopt a purely sequential conception of causation.
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  • An Essay on Eden.Hud Hudson - 2010 - Faith and Philosophy 27 (3):273-286.
    Despite an impressive tradition, modern literalists about the Garden of Eden have come under severe criticism and ridicule on the grounds that contemporary science has thoroughly discredited such a view. Accordingly, the prevailing trend in modern theology is to dehistoricize the Fall. I am no fan of literalism, but in this paper I argue that these grounds are in need of supplementation by a piece of metaphysics that has not been adequately defended. Absent the additional metaphysical thesis, it is possible (...)
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  • Conservation Laws and the Philosophy of Mind: Opening the Black Box, Finding a Mirror.J. Brian Pitts - 2020 - Philosophia 48 (2):673-707.
    Since Leibniz's time, Cartesian mental causation has been criticized for violating the conservation of energy and momentum. Many dualist responses clearly fail. But conservation laws have important neglected features generally undermining the objection. Conservation is _local_, holding first not for the universe, but for everywhere separately. The energy in any volume changes only due to what flows through the boundaries. Constant total energy holds if the global summing-up of local conservation laws converges; it probably doesn't in reality. Energy conservation holds (...)
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  • Presentism and the Objection From Being-Supervenience.Brian Kierland & Bradley Monton - 2007 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 85 (3):485-497.
    In this paper, we show that presentism -- the view that the way things are is the way things presently are -- is not undermined by the objection from being-supervenience. This objection claims, roughly, that presentism has trouble accounting for the truth-value of past-tense claims. Our demonstration amounts to the articulation and defence of a novel version of presentism. This is brute past presentism, according to which the truth-value of past-tense claims is determined by the past understood as a fundamental (...)
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  • Presentism Remains.Jonathan Tallant - 2019 - Erkenntnis 84 (2):409-435.
    Here I examine some recent attempts to provide a new way of thinking about the philosophy of time that question the central role of ‘presentness’ within the definition of presentism. The central concern raised by these critics turns on the intelligibility and theoretical usefulness of the term ‘is present’. My overarching aim is to at least challenge such concerns. I begin with arguments due to Deasy. Deasy develops a view that he calls ‘transientism’ and that he takes to be a (...)
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  • The Open Future.Stephan Torre - 2011 - Philosophy Compass 6 (5):360-373.
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  • Feel the Flow.Sam Baron - 2017 - Synthese 194 (2):609-630.
    The experience of temporal flow is, for many, the central—if not the only—reason for believing an A-theory of time. Recently, however, B-theorists have argued that experience does not, in fact, favor the A-theory. Call such an argument: a debunking argument. The goal of the present paper is to defend the A-theory against two prominent versions of the debunking argument.
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  • The New A-Theory of Time.Jonathan Tallant - 2015 - Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy 58 (6):537-562.
    The New A-theory of Time is the view, to be elaborated and defended in this article, that many times exist, and that time is real in virtue of every moment in time bearing each of the so-called A-properties: past, present and future. I argue that TNAT is at least as theoretically virtuous as mainstream views in the philosophy of time and may have some claim to being our best theory of time. I show that the properties ‘past’, ‘present’ and ‘future’ (...)
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  • Beyond A-Theory and the Block Universe: A Non-Circular Derivation of “Before”, Change, and the Local Arrow of Time.Daniel Saudek - 2020 - Kriterion - Journal of Philosophy 34 (1):21-48.
    This article proposes a “third way” in the philosophy of time beyond A-theory and the block universe, in which time is understood as a purely local phenomenon. It does so by starting with simple metaphysical assumptions about substances and their properties. Based on these assumptions, the notions of “before”, of change, and of time as local quantification of change can be derived non-circularly, i.e. without invoking temporal concepts. I then proceed to prove the irreversibility of local time by showing that (...)
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  • Why Special Relativity is a Problem for the A-Theory.Jason Turner - 2020 - Philosophical Quarterly 70 (279):385-406.
    Neither special nor general relativity make any use of a notion of absolute simultaneity. Since A-Theories about time do make use of such a notion, it is natural to suspect that relativity and A-Theory are inconsistent. Many authors have argued that they are in fact not inconsistent, and I agree with that diagnosis here. But that doesn’t mean, as these authors seem to think, that A-Theory and relativity are happy bedfellows. I argue that relativity gives us good reason to reject (...)
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  • Objects in Time: Studies of Persistence in B-Time.Tobias Hansson Wahlberg - 2009 - Dissertation, Lund University
    This thesis is about the conceptualization of persistence of physical, middle-sized objects within the theoretical framework of the revisionary ‘B-theory’ of time. According to the B-theory, time does not flow, but is an extended and inherently directed fourth dimension along which the history of the universe is ‘laid out’ once and for all. It is a widespread view among philosophers that if we accept the B-theory, the commonsensical ‘endurance theory’ of persistence will have to be rejected. The endurance theory says (...)
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  • Time's Ontic Voltage.Craig Callender - 2011 - In Adrian Bardon (ed.), The future of the philosophy of time. London, UK: Routledge. pp. 73-94.
    Philosophy of time, as practiced throughout the last hundred years, is both language- and existence-obsessed. It is language-obsessed in the sense that the primary venue for attacking questions about the nature of time—in sharp contrast to the primary venue for questions about space—has been philosophy of language. Although other areas of philosophy have long recognized that there is a yawning gap between language and the world, the message is spreading slowly in philosophy of time.[1] Since twentieth-century analytic philosophy as a (...)
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  • Temporal Experience, Temporal Passage and the Cognitive Sciences.Samuel Baron, John Cusbert, Matt Farr, Maria Kon & Kristie Miller - 2015 - Philosophy Compass 10 (8):560-571.
    Cognitive science has recently made some startling discoveries about temporal experience, and these discoveries have been drafted into philosophical service. We survey recent appeals to cognitive science in the philosophical debate over whether time objectively passes. Since this research is currently in its infancy, we identify some directions for future research.
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  • Explanation and Nowness: An Objection to the A-Theory.Leo Carton Mollica - 2015 - Philosophical Studies 172 (9):2513-2530.
    This paper presents an argument against the A-Theory of time. Briefly, I shall contend that the A-Theorist has no explanation for why the present moment in particular has the metaphysical privilege she accords it, and that this puts the theory at a disadvantage. In what follows, I shall begin by presenting this argument. I will follow that with some potential explanations for why the present moment is privileged and reasons militating against them, in addition to some other possible objections to (...)
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  • Explaining Tensed Belief.Vasilis Tsompanidis - 2015 - In K. Paykin-Arroučs & C. Majolino (eds.), Telling Time: Tensed and Temporal Meaning Between Philosophy and Linguistics. Cambridge Scholars Press. pp. 97-133.
    I attempt to set the stage for a constructive analysis of the nature and function of tensed belief as a distinct psychological type. After introducing tensed beliefs, I describe the philosophical issues that implicate them, including Prior’s “ thank goodness it’s over ” argument against the B-theory of time. I proceed to flesh out, and then argue against, two traditional treatments of tensed belief from the philosophy of time: the A-theoretic view, which starts from present facts or properties, and Hugh (...)
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  • Experience, Thought, and the Metaphysics of Time.Simon Prosser - 2013 - In Kasia M. Jaszczolt & Louis de Saussure (eds.), Time: Language, Cognition & Reality. Oxford University Press. pp. 1--157.
    In this chapter I argue that there can be no mental representation of objective ‘tensed’ features of reality of the kind that might be thought to occur when we experience time passing or think of times as past, present or future, whether or not such features are part of mind-independent reality. This, I hold, has important consequences for metaphysics; but (as will be most relevant to this volume) it is also likely to have important consequences for a correct semantics for (...)
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  • On Reality of Events in the Philosophy of Time; An Examination of the Notion of Relative Reality in 20th-Century Debate About Inconsistency of Dynamic Models and Special Theory of Relativity.Hassan Amiriara - 2019 - Journal of Philosophical Investigations 13 (26):53-82.
    There are two main camps in 20th-century philosophy of time: A-theorists who believe in the dynamic model of reality, and B-theorists who maintain a static model of reality. After the publication of Putnam’s influential article, “time and physical geometry”, the implications of the Special Theory of Relativity became serious in metaphysical discussions about temporal reality. Some philosophers argued that this theory contradicts the dynamic model and implies the ontology of the static model, namely, the objective reality of the present, past (...)
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  • Structure and Transition: Towards an Accretivist Theory of Time.David Preston Taylor - unknown
    This dissertation is a defense of a particular theory of the metaphysics of time which I call "accretivism", but which is popularly known in a form usually called the "Growing Block Theory". The goal of a metaphysics of time is to incorporate the various aspects of our temporal experience into a single, comprehensive whole. To this end I delineate five aspects of our ordinary experience of time: 1) The Tensed Aspect, in virtue of which objects are presented to us as (...)
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  • Spacetime Gaps and the Persistence of Objects Through Time.Thomas K. Javoroski - unknown
    When we begin to investigate the persistence of objects through time, we find immediately that the sort of concerns embodied in Leibniz's Law cause philosophers to divide themselves into the two major camps of Purdurantists and Endurantists. What is required according to each for a given object at a given time to be identified with a given object at another time is held to be dramatically different, even while both often look to the same general sort of indicators for their (...)
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  • The Growing Block’s Past Problems.Graeme Forbes - 2016 - Philosophical Studies 173 (3):699-709.
    The Growing-Block view of time has some problems with the past. It is committed to the existence of the past, but needs to say something about the difference between the past and present. I argue that we should resist Correia and Rosenkranz’ response to Braddon-Mitchell’s argument that the Growing-Block leads to scepticism about whether we are present. I consider an approach, similar to Peter Forrest, and show it is not so counter-intuitive as Braddon-Mitchell suggests and further show that it requires (...)
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  • Fatalism and Future Contingents.Giacomo Andreoletti - 2019 - Analytic Philosophy 60 (3):1-14.
    In this paper I address issues related to the problem of future contingents and the metaphysical doctrine of fatalism. Two classical responses to the problem of future contingents are the third truth value view and the all-false view. According to the former, future contingents take a third truth value which goes beyond truth and falsity. According to the latter, they are all false. I here illustrate and discuss two ways to respectively argue for those two views. Both ways are similar (...)
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  • The Twins' Paradox and Temporal Passage.Kristie Miller - 2004 - Analysis 64 (3):203-206.
    In a recent paper in this journal, McCall and Lowe (2003) argue that an understanding of Special Relativity reveals that the A theorist’s notion of temporal passage is consistent with the B theory of time. They arrive at this conclusion by considering the twins’ paradox, where one of two twins (T) travels to Alpha Centauri and back and upon her return has aged 30 years, while her earth-bound twin (S) has aged 40 years.Does this reconcile the A theoretic notion of (...)
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  • On Mellor and the Future Direction of Time.Lisa Leininger - 2014 - Analysis 74 (1):148-157.
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  • Backwards Causation Still Impossible.Hanoch Ben-Yami - 2010 - Analysis 70 (1):89-92.
    (No abstract is available for this citation).
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  • The Problem of True-True Counterfactuals.Aidan McGlynn - 2012 - Analysis 72 (2):276-285.
    Early commentators on David Lewis's account of counterfactuals noted that certain examples suggest that some counterfactuals with true antecedents and true consequents are false. Lewis's account has the consequence that all such counterfactuals are true, leaving us to choose between explaining away our intuitions about the examples in question or offering an alternative to Lewis's account. Here I argue that a simple modification of the familiar Lewisian truth conditions yields the intuitively correct verdicts about these examples, and so we can (...)
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  • There's No Time Like the Present.Tim Button - 2006 - Analysis 66 (2):130–135.
    No-futurists ('growing block theorists') hold that that the past and the present are real, but that the future is not. The present moment is therefore privileged: it is the last moment of time. Craig Bourne (2002) and David Braddon-Mitchell (2004) have argued that this position is unmotivated, since the privilege of presentness comes apart from the indexicality of 'this moment'. I respond that no-futurists should treat 'x is real-as-of y' as a nonsymmetric relation. Then different moments are real-as-of different times. (...)
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  • 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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  • 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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  • Future Contingents, Non-Contradiction, and the Law of Excluded Middle Muddle.Craig Bourne - 2004 - Analysis 64 (2):122–128.
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  • Time, Objects, and Identity.Ian Gibson - unknown
    This is a copy of my DPhil thesis, the abstract for which is as follows: The first third of this thesis argues for a B-theoretic conception of time according to which all times exist equally and the present is in no way privileged. I distinguish "ontological" A-theories from "non-ontological" ones, arguing that the latter are experientially unmotivated and barely coherent. With regard to the former, I focus mainly on presentism. After some remarks on how to formulate this (and eternalism) non-trivially, (...)
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  • Science as a Guide to Metaphysics?Katherine Hawley - 2006 - Synthese 149 (3):451-470.
    Analytic metaphysics is in resurgence; there is renewed and vigorous interest in topics such as time, causation, persistence, parthood and possible worlds. We who share this interest often pay lip-service to the idea that metaphysics should be informed by modern science; some take this duty very seriously.2 But there is also a widespread suspicion that science cannot really contribute to metaphysics, and that scientific findings grossly underdetermine metaphysical claims. For some, this prompts the thought ‘so much the worse for metaphysics’; (...)
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  • The Twins’ Paradox and Temporal Passage.Kristie Miller - 2004 - Analysis 64 (3):203–206.
    In a recent paper in this journal, McCall and Lowe (2003) argue that an understanding of Special Relativity reveals that the A theorist’s notion of temporal passage is consistent with the B theory of time. They arrive at this conclusion by considering the twins’ paradox, where one of two twins (T) travels to Alpha Centauri and back and upon her return has aged 30 years, while her earth-bound twin (S) has aged 40 years. This paper argues that their account of (...)
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  • Quantifiers and Temporal Ontology.Theodore Sider - 2006 - Mind 115 (457):75-97.
    Eternalists say that non-present entities (for instance dinosaurs) exist; presentists say that they do not. But some sceptics deny that this debate is genuine, claiming that presentists simply represent eternalists' quantifiers over non-present entities in different notation. This scepticism may be refuted on purely logical grounds: one of the leading candidate ‘presentist quantifiers’ over non-present things has the inferential role of a quantifier. The dispute over whether non-present objects exist is as genuine and non-verbal as the dispute over whether there (...)
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  • 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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  • Against Pointillisme About Mechanics.Jeremy Butterfield - 2006 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 57 (4):709-753.
    This paper forms part of a wider campaign: to deny pointillisme, the doctrine that a physical theory's fundamental quantities are defined at points of space or of spacetime, and represent intrinsic properties of such points or point-sized objects located there; so that properties of spatial or spatiotemporal regions and their material contents are determined by the point-by-point facts. More specifically, this paper argues against pointillisme about the concept of velocity in classical mechanics; especially against proposals by Tooley, Robinson and Lewis. (...)
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  • Special Relativity and the Future: A Defense of the Point Present.James Harrington - 2008 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part B: Studies in History and Philosophy of Modern Physics 39 (1):82-101.
    In this paper, I defend a theory of local temporality, sometimes referred to as a point-present theory. This theory has the great advantage that it allows for the possibility of an open future without requiring any alterations to our standard understanding of special relativity. Such theories, however, have regularly been rejected out of hand as metaphysically incoherent. After surveying the debate, I argue that such a transformation of temporal concepts (i) is suggested by the indexical semantics of tense in a (...)
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  • Philip Turetzky Time.Quentin Smith - 2000 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 51 (4):927-933.
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  • 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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