Aristotle as A-Theorist: Overcoming the Myth of Passage

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Abstract
Two things are often said about Aristotle's treatment of time in the Physics. First, that Aristotle's considered view of time is intrinsically tied to a language of temporal passage heavily dependent on the A-series. As such Aristotle's understanding of time is plagued with the perplexities that the A-series generates. Second, that the series of puzzles that Aristotle treats in IV.10, leading to the conclusion that time is non-existent, are left unanswered by Aristotle. Instead after presenting the puzzles having to do with whether time is, Aristotle cannot move fast enough to his treatment of what time is, leaving the puzzles unresolved. This paper looks at these two issues together. The thesis is that the puzzles about the existence of time discussed by Aristotle at IV.10 are generated by a particularly naive version of the A-theory. Further, although Aristotle's answer to what time is incorporates elements of an A-theory of time, it manages to avoid just those particular puzzles discussed in IV.10 leading to the conclusion of time's non-existence.
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Archival date: 2018-11-03
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2018-11-03

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