Conventionalism about time direction

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

In what sense is the direction of time a matter of convention? In 'The Direction of Time', Hans Reichenbach makes brief reference to parallels between his views about the status of time’s direction and his conventionalism about geometry. In this article, I: (1) provide a conventionalist account of time direction motivated by a number of Reichenbach’s claims in the book; (2) show how forwards and backwards time can give equivalent descriptions of the world despite the former being the ‘natural’ direction of time; and (3) argue that this offers an important middle-ground position between existing realist and antirealist accounts of the direction of time.

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Matt Farr
Cambridge University

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