As time goes by

The concept of temporal flow has been attacked both on the grounds that it is logically incoherent, and on the grounds that it conflicts with the theory of relativity. I argue that the charge of incoherence cannot be made to stick: McTaggart's argument commits the fallacy of equivocation, and arguments deployed by Smart and others turn out to be question-begging. But objections arising from relativity, so I claim, have considerably more force than Lucas acknowledges. Moreover, the idea of equating the cosmic time which arises in general relativistic cosmology with a metaphysically preferred space-time foliation, founders on the fact that the Friedmann models are idealisations. Finally, Lucas may be right in claiming that dynamical wave-function collapse, provided it does not propagate superluminally, will define a preferred foliation. But it is arguable that this consideration, so far from supporting Lucas's position, is grounds for rejecting collapse interpretations of quantum mechanics.
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DOI 10.1080/02698599708573549
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