David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
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International Studies in the Philosophy of Science 14 (3):221 – 236 (2000)
In this essay I address the issue of whether Einstein's Special Theory of Relativity counts against a tensed or "A-series" understanding of time. Though this debate is an old one, it continues to be lively with many prominent authors recently arguing that a genuine A-series is compatible with a relativistic world view. My aim in what follows is to outline why Special Relativity is thought to count against a tensed understanding of time and then to address the philosophical attempts to reconcile the two theories. I conclude that while modern physics on its own does not rule out the possibility of a real A-series, the combination of Einstein's theory and the philosophical arguments against tense is decisive. The upshot is that the tenseless or "B-series" view of time is the best one.
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