C‐theories of time: On the adirectionality of time

Philosophy Compass (12):1-17 (2020)
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Abstract

“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 — in short, philosophical positions that hold time lacks a direction — from different areas of the literature. I set out the various motivations, aims, and problems for C-theories, and outline different versions of antirealism about the direction of time.

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Matt Farr
Cambridge University

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