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Time Travel

Edited by Sam Baron (University of Western Australia)
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Key works Classic works on the grandfather paradox are Lewis 1976 and Horwich 1975. Lewis's solution to the grandfather paradox is defended against Horwich 1989 by Smith 1997 and Dowe 2003. The relationship between the grandfather paradox and free will is discussed in Sider 2002 and Vihvelin 1996. A solution to Einstein's field equations that permits closed time-like curves is given in Gödel 1949. Closed time-like curves are discussed in Dowe 2007. The compatibility between dynamic theories of time and time travel is discussed in Monton 2003, Miller 2005, Miller 2006, Miller 2010, Dowe 2009 and Sider 2005.
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  1. John Abbruzzese (2001). On Using the Multiverse to Avoid the Paradoxes of Time Travel. Analysis 61 (1):36–38.
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  2. Robert Merrihew Adams (1997). Thisness and Time Travel. Philosophia 25 (1-4):407-415.
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  3. Timo Airaksinen (1980). On Time Travel. Dialectics and Humanism 7 (1):113-121.
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  4. George J. Annas (2009). The Man on the Moon. In Susan Schneider (ed.), Science Fiction and Philosophy: From Time Travel to Superintelligence. Wiley-Blackwell. 227--40.
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  5. Frank Arntzenius, Time Travel and Modern Physics. Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
    Time travel has been a staple of science fiction. With the advent of general relativity it has been entertained by serious physicists. But, especially in the philosophy literature, there have been arguments that time travel is inherently paradoxical. The most famous paradox is the grandfather paradox: you travel back in time and kill your grandfather, thereby preventing your own existence. To avoid inconsistency some circumstance will have to occur which makes you fail in this attempt to kill your grandfather. Doesn't (...)
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  6. Frank Arntzenius (2006). Time Travel: Double Your Fun. Philosophy Compass 1 (6):599–616.
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  7. Isaac Asimov (2009). Robot Dreams. In Susan Schneider (ed.), Science Fiction and Philosophy: From Time Travel to Superintelligence. Wiley-Blackwell. 117.
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  8. Francis Bacon & Central School of Arts and Crafts (1912). Of Travel. L.C.C. Central School of Arts & Crafts.
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  9. Adrian Bardon (ed.) (2011). The Future of the Philosophy of Time. Routledge.

    The last century has seen enormous progress in our understanding of time. This volume features original essays by the foremost philosophers of time discussing the goals and methodology of the philosophy of time, and examining the best way to move forward with regard to the field's core issues.

    The collection is unique in combining cutting edge work on time with a focus on the big picture of time studies as a discipline. The major questions asked include:

    • What are (...)
    • Is the passage of time real, or just a subjective phenomenon?
    • Are the past and future real, or is the present all that exists?
    • If the future is real and unchanging (as contemporary physics seems to suggest), how is free will possible?
    • Since only the present moment is perceived, how does the experience as we know it come about? How does experience take on its character of a continuous flow of moments or events?
    • What explains the apparent one-way direction of time?
    • Is time travel a logical/metaphysical possibility?
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  10. John Bell, Time and Causation in Gödel's Universe.
    In 1949 the great logician Kurt Gödel constructed the first mathematical models of the universe in which travel into the past is, in theory at least, possible. Within the framework of Einstein’s general theory of relativity Gödel produced cosmological solutions to Einstein’s field equations which contain closed time-like curves, that is, curves in spacetime which, despite being closed, still represent possible paths of bodies. An object moving along such a path would travel back into its own past, to the very (...)
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  11. Jiri Benovsky (2011). Endurance and Time Travel. Kriterion 24 (1):65-72.
    Suppose that you travel back in time to talk to your younger self in order to tell her that she (you) should have done some things in her (your) life differently. Of course, you will not be able to make this plan work, we know that from the many versions of 'the grandfather paradox' that populate the philosophical literature about time travel. What will be my centre of interest in this paper is the conversation between you and ... you – (...)
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  12. George Berger (1968). The Conceptual Possibility of Time Travel. British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 19 (2):152-155.
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  13. Sara Bernstein (2014). Time Travel and the Movable Present. In John Keller (ed.), Being, Freedom, and Method: Themes from the Philosophy of Peter van Inwagen.
    In "Changing the Past" (2010), Peter van Inwagen argues that a time traveler can change the past without paradox in a growing block universe. After erasing the portion of past existence that generates paradox, a new, non-paradox-generating block can be "grown" after the temporal relocation of the time traveler. -/- I articulate and explore the underlying mechanism of Van Inwagen's model: the time traveler's control over the location of the objective present. Van Inwagen's model is aimed at preventing paradox by (...)
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  14. Kirk Besmer (forthcoming). Dis-Placed Travel in Advance. Techné: Research in Philosophy and Technology.
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  15. John Bigelow (2001). Time Travel Fiction. In Gerhard Preyer & Frank Siebelt (eds.), Reality and Humean Supervenience: Essays on the Philosophy of David Lewis. Rowman & Littlefield. 57--91.
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  16. Doris Bischof-Köhler & Norbert Bischof (2007). Is Mental Time Travel a Frame-of-Reference Issue? Behavioral and Brain Sciences 30 (3):316-317.
    Mental time travel and theory of mind develop, both phylo- and ontogenetically, at the same stage. We argue that this synchrony is due to the emergence of a shared competence, namely, the ability to become aware of frames of reference.
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  17. C. P. Blacker (1967). The Travel Diaries of TR Malthus. The Eugenics Review 59 (2):129.
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  18. Giovanni Bonacina (2010). Between Hegelianism Traditionalism and Orientalism. Hinrichs Windischmann and Ulrich J. Seetzen's Travel Journal. Rivista di Storia Della Filosofia 65 (3):461-482.
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  19. Giovanni Boniolo (1999). Wormholes and Timelike Curves: Is There Room for the Grandfather Paradox? In Maria Luisa Dalla Chiara (ed.), Language, Quantum, Music. 143--157.
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  20. Nick Bostrom (2009). Are You A Computer Simulation? In Susan Schneider (ed.), Science Fiction and Philosophy: From Time Travel to Superintelligence. Wiley-Blackwell. 20.
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  21. David Branagan (2009). Four Centuries of Geological Travel: The Search for Knowledge on Foot, Bicycle, Sledge and Camel. Annals of Science 66 (4):572-575.
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  22. Martin Brüne & Ute Brüne-Cohrs (2007). The Costs of Mental Time Travel. Behavioral and Brain Sciences 30 (3):317-318.
    A species like ours, whose life critically depends on the ability to foresee, plan, and shape future events, is vulnerable to dysfunction if any one facet contributing to what Suddendorf & Corballis (S&C) call (MTT) is affected by disease. Although the authors mention brain pathology as a potential cause of disturbed MTT, they fail to explore psychopathological syndromes as a source to better understand the significance of MTT for normal functioning and adaptive behaviour.
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  23. Leslie Butler (2011). Historicizing American Travel, at Home and Abroad. Modern Intellectual History 8 (1):237-251.
    In the winter of 1859, the Boston poet Julia Ward Howe sailed for Cuba; and in the winter of 1860, Ticknor and Fields published an account of her travel. A Trip to Cuba appeared only months after the same firm had published Richard Henry Dana's story of his ???vacation voyage,??? To Cuba and Back . These two narratives responded to a burgeoning American interest in the Caribbean island that promised recuperation to American invalids and adventure for military ???filibusters.??? Howe's narrative (...)
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  24. Roger Cardinal (1997). Romantic Travel. In Roy Porter (ed.), Rewriting the Self: Histories From the Renaissance to the Present. Routledge.
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  25. Daniel Carey (1997). Compiling Nature's History: Travellers and Travel Narratives in the Early Royal Society. Annals of Science 54 (3):269-292.
    The relationship between travel, travel narrative, and the enterprise of natural history is explored, focusing on activities associated with the early Royal Society. In an era of expanding travel, for colonial, diplomatic, trade, and missionary purposes, reports of nature's effects proliferated, both in oral and written forms. Naturalists intent on compiling a comprehensive history of such phenomena, and making them useful in the process, readily incorporated these reports into their work. They went further by trying to direct the course of (...)
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  26. Erick Carlson (2005). A New Time Travel Paradox Resolved. Philosophia 33 (1-4):263-273.
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  27. John Carroll, Context, Conditionals, Fatalism, Freedom & Time Travel.
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  28. John Carroll, Self Visitation, Traveler Time and Non-Contradiction.
    The self-visitation paradox is one paradox of time travel. As Ted Sider puts it, “Suppose I travel back in time and stand in a room with my sitting 10-year-old self. I seem to be both sitting and standing, but how can that be?” (2001, 101). So as not to beg any questions, let us label what is sitting B and what is standing C. The worry is about how B can be C in light of the looming contradiction that this (...)
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  29. John Carroll (2010). Context, Conditionals, Fatalism, Time Travel, and Freedom. In Joseph Keim Campbell, Michael O'Rourke & Harry Silverstein (eds.), Time and Identity. Mit Press. 79.
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  30. John W. Carroll (2011). Self Visitation, Traveler Time, and Compatible Properties. Canadian Journal of Philosophy 41 (3):359-370.
    Ted Sider aptly and concisely states the self-visitation paradox thus: 'Suppose I travel back in time and stand in a room with my sitting 10-year-old self. I seem to be both sitting and standing, but how can that be?' (2001, 101). I will explore a relativist resolution of this paradox offered by, or on behalf of, endurantists.1 It maintains that the sitting and the standing are relative to the personal time or proper time of the time traveler and is intended (...)
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  31. John W. Carroll, Steven Carpenter, Beth Ehrlich Slater, Gray Maddrey, Kevin Martell, Stuart Miller, Nathan Sasser, Stephen Sutton, Robert Todd, Diana Tysinger & Laura Wingler (2014). A Time Travel Dialogue. Open Book Publishers.
    Is time travel just a confusing plot device deployed by science fiction authors and Hollywood filmmakers to amaze and amuse? Or might empirical data prompt a scientific hypothesis of time travel? Structured on a fascinating dialogue involving  ...
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  32. Robert Casati & Achille C. Varzi (2001). That Useless Time Machine. Philosophy 76 (4):581-583.
    Dear ‘Time Machine’ Research Group; if in order to travel to the past one has to have been there already, and if one can only do what has already been done, then why build a time machine in the first place? À quoi bon l'effort?
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  33. D. S. Chambers (2001). Isabella d'Este and the Travel Diary of Antonio de Beatis. Journal of the Warburg and Courtauld Institutes 64:296-308.
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  34. Timothy Chambers (2001). Waiter Benesch, An Introduction to Comparative Philosophy: A Travel Guide to Philosophical Space Reviewed By. Philosophy in Review 21 (6):396-398.
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  35. Timothy Chambers (1999). Time Travel: How Not to Defuse the Principal Paradox. Ratio 12 (3):296–301.
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  36. James Clifford (1997). Routes Travel and Translation in the Late Twentieth Century.
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  37. F. I. Cooperstock & S. Tieu (2005). Closed Timelike Curves and Time Travel: Dispelling the Myth. [REVIEW] Foundations of Physics 35 (9):1497-1509.
    Gödel’s contention that closed timelike curves (CTC’s) are a necessary consequence of the Einstein equations for his metric is challenged. It is seen that the imposition of periodicity in a timelike coordinate is the actual source of CTC’s rather than the physics of general relativity. This conclusion is supported by the creation of Gödel-like CTC’s in flat space by the correct choice of coordinate system and identifications. Thus, the indications are that the notion of a time machine remains exclusively an (...)
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  38. William Lane Craig (1988). Tachyons, Time Travel, and Divine Omniscience. Journal of Philosophy 85 (3):135-150.
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  39. John Cramer, Back in Time Through Other Dimensions.
    The physics behind the limerick is that within Einstein’s special theory of relativity there is a subtle connection between faster-than-light and backwards-in-time travel. If you could do one, then in principle you could also do the other. But relativity is carefully contrived to prevent superluminal and back-in-time travel and communication.
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  40. John G. Cramer, Quantum Time Travel.
    The territory of time travel has, from the days of H. G. Wells to the mid-1980's, been the exclusive province of writers of science fiction and fantasy. SF critics have even argued that time travel stories are so scientifically unlikely that they should be considered fantasy, not science fiction.
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  41. John G. Cramer, Wormholes and Time Machines.
    Science fiction writers, to avoid undue delays in the story's plot line, need a way of beating the speed of light speed limit of the universe. Most readers of this magazine are familiar with the gimmicks that have been used for faster than light travel: warp drives, detours through hyperspace, matter to tachyon conversion, trans spatial jumps, and dives past the singularity of a rotating black hole. But perhaps the faster than light mechanism which has the best credentials in orthodox (...)
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  42. Arnaud D'Argembeau & Martial Van der Linden (2007). Emotional Aspects of Mental Time Travel. Behavioral and Brain Sciences 30 (3):320-321.
    We consider three possible reasons why humans might accord a privileged status to emotional information when mentally traveling backward or forward in time. First, mental simulation of emotional situations helps one to make adaptive decisions. Second, it can serve an emotion regulation function. Third, it helps people to construct and maintain a positive view of the self.
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  43. Svein Olav Daatland (2002). Time to Pay Back? Is. In Lars Andersson (ed.), Cultural Gerontology. Greenwood Publishing Group.
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  44. Paul Richard Daniels (2014). Lewisian Time Travel in a Relativistic Setting. Metaphysica 15 (2):329-345.
    I argue that David Lewis’s philosophically dominant conception of time travel cannot straightforwardly handle what we might call cases of relativistic time travel—that is, the sort of time travel which could only plausibly occur in a relativistic setting. I evaluate whether or not the Lewisian account can be successfully adapted such that it would able to analyse potential cases of relativistic time travel satisfactorily while still being employable in the analysis of those cases that make no mention of physics or (...)
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  45. Paul Richard Daniels (2014). Occupy Wall: A Mereological Puzzle and the Burdens of Endurantism. Australasian Journal of Philosophy 92 (1):91-101.
    Endurantists have recently faced a mereological puzzle in various forms. Here I argue that, instead of presenting a genuine worry, the puzzle actually reveals a common misunderstanding about the endurantist ontology. Furthermore, through this discussion of the alleged problem and the misunderstanding which motivates it, I reveal metaphysical commitments the endurantist has that may not be widely recognized. For instance, she is committed to interesting and perhaps controversial views about shape and location. I highlight these commitments and what they mean (...)
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  46. Paul Richard Daniels (2014). The Persistent Time Traveller: Contemporary Issues in the Metaphysics of Time and Persistence. Dissertation, Monash University
    The main theme of this thesis is time travel; time travel cases—both from relativistic physics and science fiction—provide or highlight deep problems for certain positions in contemporary debates about the metaphysical nature of time and of how material objects persist through time. This thesis explores the implications of these discussions; more specifically, I draw attention to some of the interesting things we can learn about presentism (a theory of time) and endurantism (a theory of persistence) from discussions of time travel (...)
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  47. Paul Richard Daniels (2012). Back to the Present: Defending Presentist Time Travel. My Cms 4 (33):469 - 484.
    Here I defend the compatibility of presentism and time travel against a few objections. Keller and Nelson argue that, if presentism is at all plausible, presentism and time travel are as compatible as eternalism and time travel. But Miller and Sider are not convinced. I reply that for their concerns to have merit, Miller and Sider must assume presentists are committed to positions they need not be; I explain why presentists are not so committed and, in the process, defend Keller (...)
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  48. Kevin S. Decker (2013). Who is Who?: The Philosophy of Doctor Who. I.B. Tauris.
    This is the first in-depth philosophical investigation of Doctor Who in popular culture.
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  49. Matthew Demers (2013). Theoria: Travel as Paraphor. Environment, Space, Place 5 (1):85-97.
    Theoria originally implied a kind of active observation, combining perception with asking questions and listening to local stories and myths. This is travel treated not as a metaphor in discourse, but as both source and goal of discourse, or movement as a format for conveying information seen and heard. This would be travel as paraphor or travel and discourse carried one alongside the other as a context for intellection. This article articulates travel as paraphor using Greg Ulmer’s concept of the (...)
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  50. Phil Dowe (2003). The Coincidences of Time Travel. Philosophy of Science 70 (3):574-589.
    In this paper I consider two objections raised by Nick Smith (1997) to an argument against the probability of time travel given by Paul Horwich (1995, 1987). Horwich argues that time travel leads to inexplicable and improbable coincidences. I argue that one of Smith's objections fails, but that another is correct. I also consider an instructive way to defend Horwich's argument against the second of Smith's objections, but show that it too fails. I conclude that unless there is something faulty (...)
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