Time flow and reversibility in a probabilistic universe.

Dissertation, Massey University (1990)
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Abstract
A fundamental problem in understanding the nature of time is explaining its directionality. This 1990 PhD thesis re-examines the concepts of time flow, the physical directionality of time, and the semantics of tensed language. Several novel results are argued for that contradict the orthodox anti-realist views still dominant in the subject. Specifically, the concept of "metaphysical time flow" is supported as a valid scientific concept, and argued to be intrinsic to the directionality of objective probabilities in quantum mechanics; the common claims that quantum probability theory is time reversible is shown to be based on an analytic error, stemming from a false choice for the criterion for reversibility of probabilistic theories (recognized by Satosi Watanabe in the 1950s but ignored in all philosophical discussions); and a consistent semantics for tensed language (adapted from the tree model of Storrs McCall) is constructed, showing that the common rejection of "time flow" as having no meaningful semantics is false. These debates are still ongoing in almost exactly the same state they were pre-1990, and there is appears to be no visible progress in the subject. Critical points made against errors in the orthodox account (which has been sustained for 70 years by the anti-realist philosophy of time, typified by the "Pittsburg School" of Grunbaum-Earman-Norton-Roberts), are still not recognized in the philosophy of time or physics. Some key technical proofs in this thesis have been published in physics proper. See p.ii-iii for full original abstract. (This pdf is uploaded from the Massey University archive.)
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