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 22 (3):237 – 258 (2008)
By analyzing the meaning of time I argue, without endorsing operationalism, that time is necessarily related to physical systems which can serve as clocks. This leads to a version of relationism about time which entails that there is no time 'before' the universe. Three notions of metaphysical 'time' (associated, respectively, with time as a mathematical concept, substantivalism, and modal relationism) which might support the idea of time 'before' the universe are discussed. I argue that there are no good reasons to believe that metaphysical 'time' can be identified with what we ordinarily call time. I also briefly review and criticize the idea of time 'before' the big bang, associated with some recent speculative models in modern cosmology, and I argue that if the big bang model is a (roughly) correct description of our universe, then the best current answer to the question in the title is that time did have a beginning
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References found in this work BETA
William Lane Craig (2001). God and the Beginning of Time. International Philosophical Quarterly 41 (1):17-31.
John Earman, Clark Glymour & John Stachel (eds.) (1977). Foundations of Space-Time Theories: Minnesota Studies in the Philosophy of Science. University of Minnesota Press.
Richard M. Gale (1968). The Philosophy of Time: A Collection of Essays. London, Macmillan.
I. Kant (1984). Critique of Pure Reason. Philosophy 59 (230):555-557.
Robin Le Poidevin (2003). Travels in Four Dimensions: The Enigmas of Space and Time. Oxford University Press.
Citations of this work BETA
Svend E. Rugh & Henrik Zinkernagel (2008). On the Physical Basis of Cosmic Time. Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part B 40 (1):1-19.
Robert Brandenberger (2014). Do We Have a Theory of Early Universe Cosmology? Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part B 46 (1):109-121.
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Richard Swinburne (1996). The Beginning of the Universe and of Time. Canadian Journal of Philosophy 26 (2):169 - 189.
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