Aspects and the Alteration of Temporal Simples

Manuscrito 39 (4):169-181 (2016)
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ABSTRACT According to David Lewis, alteration is "qualitative difference between temporal parts of something." It follows that moments, since they are simple and lack temporal parts, cannot alter from future to present to past. Here then is another way to put McTaggart's paradox about change in tense. I will appeal to my theory of Aspects to rebut the thought behind this rendition of McTaggart. On my theory, it is possible that qualitatively differing things be numerically identical. I call these differing, numerically identical things "aspects." I will argue that alteration can be a qualitative difference between temporal aspects of something that lacks temporal parts. So a moment can alter in tense. By rejecting Lewis's assumption my theory can solve this version of McTaggart's paradox.

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Donald L. M. Baxter
University of Connecticut


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