Is There Change on the B-theory of Time?

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Abstract
The purpose of this paper is to explore the connection between change and the B-theory of time, sometimes also called the Scientific view of time, according to which reality is a four-dimensional spacetime manifold, where past, present and future things equally exist, and the present time and non-present times are metaphysically the same. I argue in favour of a novel response to the much-vexed question of whether there is change on the B-theory or not. In fact, B-theorists are often said to hold a ‘static’ view of time. But this far from being innocent label: if the B-theory of time presents a model of temporal reality that is static, then there is no change on the B-theory. From this, one can reasonably think as follows: of course, there is change, so the B-theory must be false. What I plan to do in this paper is to argue that in some sense there is change on the B-theory, but in some other sense, there is no change on the B-theory. To do so, I present three instances of change: Existential Change, namely the view that things change with respect to their existence over time; Qualitative Change, the view that things change with respect to how they are over time; Propositional Change, namely the view that things (i.e. propositions) change with respect to truth value over time. I argue that while there is a reading of these three instances of change that is true on the B-theory, and so there is change on the B-theory in this sense, there is a B-theoretical reading of each of them that is not true on the B-theory, and therefore there is no change on the B-theory in this other sense.
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Archival date: 2021-07-11
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