Passage and Perception

Noûs 47 (1):69-84 (2013)
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Abstract
The nature of experience has been held to be a major reason for accepting the A-theory of time. I argue, however, that experience does not favour the A-theory over the B-theory; and that even if the A-theory were true it would not be possible to perceive the passage of time. The main argument for this draws on the constraint that a satisfactory theory of perception must explain why phenomenal characters map uniquely onto perceived worldly features. Thus, if passage is perceived, it must be explained what makes one phenomenal character rather than another a perception of passage; and it must also be explained why that phenomenal character is a perception of passage rather than of some other feature of the world. I argue that no such explanation can be given, and consequently that passage cannot be perceived. I conclude that the A-theory is rendered unintelligible, and should therefore be rejected.
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