Agency and the A-Series

Southwest Philosophy Review 25 (1):153-161 (2009)
Debates between A-theorists and B-theorists about time often center on our experiential beliefs about reality. Because we experience events as past, present, or future, the A-theorists argue, a tenseless theory of time cannot account for reality. B-theorists, in response, have sought to painstakingly explain away every argument for the existence of A-properties on the basis of experience. Recently, the dominant strategy in this response has involved turning our attention away from our beliefs about experience and toward the truth-makers of those beliefs. What makes our belief that events are experienced as past, present, and future true, on this account, is always some underlying tenseless fact. In this paper I defend a tensed account by appealing to structural features of the experience of agency. Agency requires first-personal mental states that are irreducibly tensed, so that we cannot give up a tensed ontology without also denying the reality of agency.
Keywords time  A-Series  B-Series  agency
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DOI 10.5840/swphilreview200925116
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