Reassessing the prospects for a growing Block model of the universe

Although C. D. Broad's notion of Becoming has received a fair amount of attention in the philosophy-of-time literature, there are no serious attempts to show how to replace the standard 'block' spacetime models by models that are more congenial to Broad's idea that the sum total of existence is continuously increased by Becoming or the coming into existence of events. In the Newtonian setting Broad-type models can be constructed in a cheating fashion by starting with a Newtonian block model, carving chips off the block, and assembling the chips in an appropriately structured way. However, attempts to construct Broad-type models in a non-cheating fashion reveal a number of problematic aspects of Becoming that have not received adequate attention in the literature. The paper then turns to an assessment of the problem and prospects of adapting Becoming models to relativistic spacetimes. The results of the assessment differ in both minor and major ways from the ones in the extant literature. Finally, the paper describes how the causal set approach to quantum gravity promises to provide a mechanism for realizing Becoming, though the form of Becoming that emerges may not conform to any of the versions discussed in the philosophical literature.
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    Stephan Torre (2011). The Open Future. Philosophy Compass 6 (5):360-373.
    Christian Wüthrich (2012). The Structure of Causal Sets. Journal for General Philosophy of Science 43 (2):223-241.
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