On McTaggart's Theory of Time

History of Philosophy Quarterly 27 (4):389-401 (2010)
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Abstract

McTaggart’s theory of time is the locus classicus of the contemporary philosophy of time. However, despite its prominence, there is little agreement as to what the theory actually amounts. In this paper, it is first argued that, contrary to the received opinion, McTaggart’s A-time/B-time distinction is not a distinction between static and fluid temporal series. Rather, it is a certain distinction between two types of static temporal series. It is then shown that in his temporal transience paradox, McTaggart employs these two distinct notions of temporal series. The paper is concluded with the claim that McTaggart's temporal transience paradox is best understood not as a contradiction, but as a dilemma both horns of which are unsatisfactory.

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