Time in a one‐instant world

Ratio 33 (3):145-154 (2020)
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Abstract

Many philosophers hold that ‘one-instant worlds’—worlds that contain a single instant—fail to contain time. We experimentally investigate whether these worlds satisfy the folk concept of time. We found that ~50% of participants hold that there is time in such worlds. We argue that this suggests one of two possibilities. First, the population disagree about whether at least one of the A-, B-, or C-series is necessary for time, with there being a substantial sub-population for whom the presence of neither an A-, B-, nor C-series, is necessary for time, and hence those folk have a radically more minimal concept of time than has been attributed to them by philosophers. Or, second, the population do not disagree about whether at least one of the A-, B-, or C-series is necessary for time, but disagree about what it takes for a world to fail to contain even a C-series.

Author Profiles

Andrew James Latham
Aarhus University
Kristie Miller
University of Sydney

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