Is time a continuum of instants?

Philosophy 75 (4):497-515 (2000)
Our model of time is the classical continuum of real numbers, and our model of other measurable quantities that change over time is that of functions defined on real numbers with real numbers as values. This model is not derived from reality or from our experience of it, but imposed on reality; and the fit is very imperfect. In classical mathematics, the value of a function for any real number as argument is independent of its value for any other argument: the analogue is Hume's doctrine that events are loose and separate. This makes continuity in the change of any quantity a contingent law of physica, rather than a conceptual necessity. The article explores alternatives to this classical model.
Keywords No keywords specified (fix it)
Categories (categorize this paper)
DOI 10.1017/S0031819100000644
 Save to my reading list
Follow the author(s)
My bibliography
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Revision history Request removal from index
Download options
PhilPapers Archive

Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy on self-archival     Papers currently archived: 15,865
External links
Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
Through your library
References found in this work BETA

No references found.

Add more references

Citations of this work BETA
Claudio Mazzola (2014). Can Discrete Time Make Continuous Space Look Discrete? European Journal for Philosophy of Science 4 (1):19-30.
Ulrich Meyer (2015). Tense Logic. Philosophy Compass 10 (6):406-419.

View all 9 citations / Add more citations

Similar books and articles

Monthly downloads

Added to index


Total downloads

134 ( #14,793 of 1,724,891 )

Recent downloads (6 months)

15 ( #48,693 of 1,724,891 )

How can I increase my downloads?

My notes
Sign in to use this feature

Start a new thread
There  are no threads in this forum
Nothing in this forum yet.