If Time Can Pass, Time Can Pass at Different Rates

Analytic Philosophy 62 (1):21-32 (2021)
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According to the No Alternate Possibilities argument, if time passes then the rate at which it passes could be different. Thus, time cannot pass, since if time passes, then necessarily it passes at a rate of 1 second per second. One response to this argument is to posit hypertime, and to argue that at different worlds, time passes at different rates when measured against hypertime. Since many A-theorists think we can make sense of temporal passage without positing hypertime, we pursue a different response. We describe several worlds that do not contain hypertime, but do contain differential passage: worlds where time passes at different rates in different subregions within the same world. Hence we argue that even if we focus just on the set of worlds that do not contain hypertime (whether this is all, or only some of the worlds) we find that not all these worlds are such that time passes at a rate of 1 second per second. Thus the No Alternate Possibilities argument fails even when restricted to just this set of worlds.

Author Profiles

Kristie Miller
University of Sydney
James Norton
University of Iceland


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