David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
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Synthese 188 (1):85-116 (2012)
This paper assesses branching spacetime theories in light of metaphysical considerations concerning time. I present the A, B, and C series in terms of the temporal structure they impose on sets of events, and raise problems for two elements of extant branching spacetime theories—McCall’s ‘branch attrition’, and the ‘no backward branching’ feature of Belnap’s ‘branching space-time’—in terms of their respective A- and B-theoretic nature. I argue that McCall’s presentation of branch attrition can only be coherently formulated on a model with at least two temporal dimensions, and that this results in severing the link between branch attrition and the ﬂow of time. I argue that ‘no backward branching’ prohibits Belnap’s theory from capturing the modal content of indeterministic physical theories, and results in it ascribing to the world a time-asymmetric modal structure that lacks physical justiﬁcation.
|Keywords||Branching time A series B series C series Indeterminism Open future Passage of time Supertime Direction of time|
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References found in this work BETA
James Ladyman (2007). Every Thing Must Go: Metaphysics Naturalized. Oxford University Press.
Tim Maudlin (2007/2009). The Metaphysics Within Physics. Oxford University Press.
Nuel D. Belnap (2001). Facing the Future: Agents and Choices in Our Indeterminist World. Oxford University Press on Demand.
David Lewis (1979). Counterfactual Dependence and Time's Arrow. Noûs 13 (4):455-476.
David Z. Albert (2000). Time and Chance. Harvard University Press.
Citations of this work BETA
Matt Farr & Alexander Reutlinger (2013). A Relic of a Bygone Age? Causation, Time Symmetry and the Directionality Argument. Erkenntnis 78 (2):215-235.
Oliver Pooley (2013). Relativity, the Open Future, and the Passage of Time. Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society 113 (3pt3):321-363.
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