International Studies in the Philosophy of Science 11 (1):35 – 51 (1997)
|Abstract||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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