David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
Learn more about PhilPapers
In Vesselin Petkov (ed.), Space, Time, and Spacetime: Physical and Philosophical Implications of Minkowski's Unification of Space and Time. Springer (2010)
Ever since the now infamous comments made by Hermann Minkowski in 1908 concerning the proper way to view space-time, the debate has raged as to whether or not the universe should be viewed as a four-dimensional, unified whole wherein the past, present, and future are equally real or whether the views espoused by the possibilists, historicists, and presentists regarding the unreality of the future (and, for presentists, the past) are best. Now, a century after Minkowski’s proposed blockworld first sparked debate, we seek a more conclusive argument in favor of the eternalist picture of space-time. Utilizing an argument based on the relativity of simultaneity in the tradition of Putnam and Rietdijk and novel but reasonable assumptions as to the nature of “reality”, we will show that the past, present, and future are equally real, thus ruling out presentism and other theories of time that bestow special ontological status to the past, present, or future as untenable. Finally, we will respond to our critics who would suggest that: 1) there is no metaphysical difference between the positions of eternalism and presentism, 2) the present must be defined as the “here” as well as the “now”, or 3) presentism is correct and our understanding of relativity is incomplete because it does not incorporate a preferred frame. We call eternalist response 1 deflationary since it purports to dissolve or deconstruct the age-old debate between the two views and response 2 compatibilist because it does nothing to alter special relativity (SR) arguing instead that SR unadorned has the resources to save presentism. Response 3 we will call incompatibilism because it adorns SR in some way in order to save presentism a la some sort of preferred frame. We will show that neither move 1 nor 2 can save presentism and move 3 is not well motivated at this juncture except as an ad hoc device to refute eternalism.
|Keywords||No keywords specified (fix it)|
|Categories||categorize this paper)|
Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
|Through your library|
References found in this work BETA
No references found.
Citations of this work BETA
Michael Silberstein, W. M. Stuckey & Timothy McDevitt (2013). Being, Becoming and the Undivided Universe: A Dialogue Between Relational Blockworld and the Implicate Order Concerning the Unification of Relativity and Quantum Theory. Foundations of Physics 43 (4):502-532.
Similar books and articles
Natasa Rakic (1997). Past, Present, Future, and Special Relativity. British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 48 (2):257-280.
Nataša Rakić (1997). Past, Present, Future, and Special Relativity. British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 48 (2):257-280.
Steven D. Hales (2010). No Time Travel for Presentists. Logos and Episteme 1 (2):353-360.
Yuri Balashov & Michel Janssen (2003). Presentism and Relativity. [REVIEW] British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 54 (2):327-346.
Mauro Dorato (2012). Presentism/Eternalism and Endurantism/Perdurantism: Why the Unsubstantiality of the First Debate Implies That of the Second. Philosophia Naturalis 49 (1):25-41.
Added to index2009-01-28
Total downloads194 ( #9,463 of 1,726,249 )
Recent downloads (6 months)10 ( #66,646 of 1,726,249 )
How can I increase my downloads?