It is customary in current philosophy of time to distinguish between an A- (or tensed) and a B- (or tenseless) theory of time. It is also customary to distinguish between an old B-theory of time, and a new B-theory of time. We may say that the former holds both semantic atensionalism and ontological atensionalism, whereas the latter gives up semantic atensionalism and retains ontological atensionalism. It is typically assumed that the B-theorists have been induced (...) by advances in the philosophy of language and related A-theorists’ criticisms to acknowledge that semantic atensionalism can hardly stand, but have also maintained that what is essential for the B-theory is ontological atensionalism, which can be independently defended. Here it is argued that the B-theorists have been too quick in abandoning semantic atensionalism: they can still cling to it. (shrink)
This thesis is about the conceptualization of persistence of physical, middle-sized objects within the theoretical framework of the revisionary ‘B-theory’ of time. According to the B-theory, time does not flow, but is an extended and inherently directed fourth dimension along which the history of the universe is ‘laid out’ once and for all. It is a widespread view among philosophers that if we accept the B-theory, the commonsensical ‘endurance theory’ of persistence will have to be (...) rejected. The endurance theory says that objects persist through time by being wholly present at distinct times as numerically the same entity. Instead of endurantism, it has been argued, we have to adopt either ‘perdurantism’ or the ‘stage theory’. Perdurantism is the theory that objects are four-dimensional ‘space-time worms’ persisting through time by having distinct temporal parts at distinct times. The stage theory says that objects are instantaneous temporal parts (stages) of space-time worms, persisting by having distinct temporal counterparts at distinct times. In the thesis, it is argued that no good arguments have been provided for the conclusion that we are obliged to drop the endurance theory by acceptance of the B-theory. This conclusion stands even if the endurance theory incorporates the claim that objects endure through intrinsic change. It is also shown that perdurantism and the stage theory come with unwelcome consequences. -/- Paper I demonstrates that the main arguments for the view that objects cannot endure in B-time intrinsically unchanged fail. Papers II and III do the same with respect to the traditional arguments against endurance through intrinsic change in B-time. Paper III also contains a detailed account of the semantics of the tenseless copula, which occurs frequently in the debate. The contention of Paper IV is that four-dimensional space-time worms, as traditionally understood, are not suited to take dispositional predicates. In Paper V, it is shown that the stage theory needs to introduce an overabundance of persistence-concepts, many of which will have to be simultaneously applicable to a single object (qua falling under a single sortal), in order for the theory to be consistent. The final article, Paper VI, investigates the sense in which persistence can, as is sometimes suggested, be a ‘conventional matter’. It also asks whether alleged cases of ‘conventional persistence’ create trouble for the endurance theory. It is argued that conventions can only enter at a trivial semantic level, and that the endurance theory is no more threatened by such conventions than are its rivals. (shrink)
This paper discusses Robin Le Poidevin’s proposal that a commitment to the B-theory of time provides a reason to relinquish the fear of death. After outlining Le Poidevin’s views on time and death, I analyze the specific passages in which he makes his proposal, giving close attention to the claim that, for the B-theorist, one’s life is “eternally real.” I distinguish two possible interpretations of this claim, which I call alethic eternalism and ontic eternalism respectively, and argue, (...) with reference to statements by other B-theroists, that alethic eternalism is the only viable option. I highlight two problems for Le Poidevin’s proposal: firstly, even if alethic eternalism does provide a reason not to fear death, this same reason is available to A-theorists; and secondly, alethic eternalism does not in fact provide such a reason. Having critically assessed possible responses to these problems, I conclude that Le Poidevin’s proposal is unfounded. (shrink)
Dōgen's views of time are descriptively compared to the modern western philosophical view called "B-theory" and found to contain elements of each of the four main tenets of the B-theory. Furthermore, a fundamental incongruency is discovered. Even accounting for traditional Buddhist approaches to apparent contradictions, Dōgen's problems in this regard call into question the assumption of consistency that has characterized modern interpretations of his views on time.
The paper has two parts: First, I describe a relatively popular thesis in the philosophy of propositional attitudes, worthy of the name “taking tense seriously”; and I distinguish it from a family of views in the metaphysics of time, namely, the A-theories (or what are sometimes called “tensed theories of time”). Once the distinction is in focus, a skeptical worry arises. Some A-theorists maintain that the difference between past, present, and future, is to be drawn in terms of (...) what exists: growing-block theorists eschew ontological commitment to future entities; presentists, to future and past entities. Others think of themselves as A-theorists but exclude no past or future things from their ontology. The metaphysical skeptic suspects that their attempt to articulate an “eternalist” version of the A-theory collapses into merely “taking tense seriously” — a thesis that does not imply the A-theory. The second half of the paper is the search for a stable eternalist A-theory. It includes discussion of temporary intrinsics, temporal parts, and truth. (shrink)
In this paper I consider two strategies for providing tenseless truth-conditions for tensed sentences: the token-reflexive theory and the date theory. Both theories have faced a number of objections by prominent A-theorists such as Quentin Smith and William Lane Craig. Traditionally, these two theories have been viewed as rival methods for providing truth-conditions for tensed sentences. I argue that the debate over whether the token-reflexive theory or the date theory is true has arisen from a failure to distinguish between conditions (...) for the truth of tensed tokens and conditions for the truth of propositions expressed by tensed tokens. I demonstrate that there is a true formulation of the token-reflexive theory that provides necessary and sufficient conditions for the truth of tensed tokens, and there is a true formulation of the date theory that provides necessary and sufficient conditions for the truth of propositions expressed by tensed tokens. I argue that once the views are properly formulated, the A-theorist’s objections fail to make their mark. However, I conclude by claiming that even though there is a true formulation of the token-reflexive theory and a true formulation of the date theory, the New B-theory nonetheless fails to provide a complete account of the truth and falsity of tensed sentences. (shrink)
When addressing the notion of proper time in the theory of relativity, it is usually taken for granted that the time read by an accelerated clock is given by the Minkowski proper time. However, there are authors like Harvey Brown that consider necessary an extra assumption to arrive at this result, the so-called clock hypothesis. In opposition to Brown, Richard TW Arthur takes the clock hypothesis to be already implicit in the theory. In this paper I will (...) present a view different from these authors by recovering Einstein's notion of natural clock and showing its relevance to the debate. (shrink)
When philosophers of perception contemplate concrete examples, the tendency is to choose perceptions whose content does not essentially involve time, but concern how things are at the moment they are perceived. This is true whether the cases are veridical (seeing a tree as a tree) or illusory (misperceiving the colour or spatial properties of an object). Less discussed, and arguably more complex and interesting cases do involve time as an essential element: perceiving movement, for example, or perceiving the (...) order and comparative duration of events. And, like other kinds of perception, time perception can involve illusions, such as the puzzling ‘stopped clock’ illusion. I want to suggest that these dynamic cases, and perhaps particularly those involving illusion, make a distinctive contribution to the direct realist/sense datum theory debate over perception, and they undermine a popular argument in favour of the objective passage of time, namely that passage is an ineliminable feature of our temporal experience. (shrink)
It sometimes happens that advances in one area of philosophy can be applied to a quite different area of philosophy, and that the result is an unexpected significant advance. I think that this is true of the philosophy of time and meta-ethics. Developments in the philosophy of time have led to a new understanding of the relation between semantics and metaphysics. Applying these insights to the field of meta-ethics, I will argue, can suggest a new position with respect (...) to moral discourse and moral reality. This new position retains the advantages of theories like moral realism and naturalism, yet is immune to many of their difficulties. (shrink)
Two recurrent arguments levelled against the view that enduring objects survive change are examined within the framework of the B-theory of time: the argument from Leibniz's Law and the argument from Instantiation of Incompatible Properties. Both arguments are shown to be question-begging and hence unsuccessful.
Does the A-theory have an intuitive advantage over the B-theory? Many A-theorists have claimed so, arguing that their theory has a much better explanation for the fact that we all experience the passage of time: we experience time as passing because time really does pass. In this paper I expose and reject the argument behind the A-theorist’s claim. I argue that all parties have conceded far too easily that there is an experience that needs explaining in (...) the first place. For what exactly is an experience of temporal passage? One natural thought is that we experience passage in virtue of experiencing change, or in virtue of experiencing change as ‘dynamic’. Another is that we experience passage in virtue of experiencing events as (successively) present. None of these experiences, I argue, amounts to an experience of passage. Although there might still be other ways to experience passage, A-theorists would have to provide us with a plausible candidate experience. If there is such an experience at all, it won’t be one that qualifies as what we intuitively take to be an experience of passage. The ‘intuitive advantage’, it seems, has dissolved in any case. (shrink)
The B-theory of time holds that McTaggart’s A-series of past, present, and future is reducible to the B-series of events running from earlier to later. According to the date-theory—originally put forth by J.J.C. Smart and later endorsed by by D.H. Mellor—the truth conditions of tensed or Asentence-tokens can be given in terms of tenseless or B-sentences and, therefore, A-sentence-tokens do not ascribe any A-determinations of pastness, presentness, or futurity. However, as Nathan Oaklander has argued, the date-theory does not (...) provide an adequate analysis of the ontological truth conditions of irreducible A-propositions. I show that the co-reporting theory—which holds that for every A-sentence-token there is a B-sentence that differs in sense but reports the same event or state of affairs—escapes the objections Oaklander has addressed against the date-theory. (shrink)
Three arguments for the conclusion that objects cannot endure in B-time even if they remain intrinsically unchanged are examined: Carter and Hestevolds enduring-objects-as-universals argument (American Philosophical Quarterly 31(4):269-283, 1994) and Barker and Dowe's paradox 1 and paradox 2 (Analysis 63(2):106-114, 2003, Analysis 65(1):69-74, 2005). All three are shown to fail.
There are ways in which the new tenseless theory of time is analogous to David Lewis’s modal realism. The new tenseless theory gives an indexical analysis of temporal terms such as ‘now’, while Lewis gives and indexical analysis of ‘actual’. For the new tenseless theory, all times are equally real; for Lewis, all worlds are equally real. In this paper I investigate this apparent analogy between these two theories, and ask whether a proponent of one is committed, by parity (...) of reasoning, to the other. I conclude that the analogy is merely apparent, and that independent reasons are needed to support each theory. (shrink)
The co-reporting theory holds that for every A-sentence-token there is a B-sentence that differs in sense but reports the same event orstate of affairs. Thus, if it is now t7, what is reported by now tokening “It is t7 now” is identical with what is reported by tokening “It is t7 at t7.” Quentin Smith has argued that the fact that the sentence-tokens differ in sense but are co-reporting is compatible with the A-theory supposition that their difference in sense consists (...) in the fact that the A-sentence-token alone conveys the information that t7 has an irreducible A-property of presentness. I counter argue that every time the indexical “now” is tokened it expresses, not an irreducible A-property, but a unique individual essence of a moment of time which can be apprehended only at that time. (shrink)
This paper assesses branching spacetime theories in light of metaphysical considerations concerning time. I present the A, B, and C series in terms of the temporal structure they impose on sets of events, and raise problems for two elements of extant branching spacetime theories—McCall’s ‘branch attrition’, and the ‘no backward branching’ feature of Belnap’s ‘branching space-time’—in terms of their respective A- and B-theoretic nature. I argue that McCall’s presentation of branch attrition can only be coherently formulated on a (...) model with at least two temporal dimensions, and that this results in severing the link between branch attrition and the ﬂow of time. I argue that ‘no backward branching’ prohibits Belnap’s theory from capturing the modal content of indeterministic physical theories, and results in it ascribing to the world a time-asymmetric modal structure that lacks physical justiﬁcation. (shrink)
Leibniz's philosophy of time, often seen as a precursor to current forms of relationalism and causal theories of time, has rightly earned the admiration of his more recent counterparts in the philosophy of science. In this article, I examine Leibniz's philosophy of time from a new perspective: the role that tense and non-tensed temporal properties/relations play in it. Specifically, I argue that Leibniz's philosophy of time is best (and non-anachronistically) construed as a non-tensed theory of (...) class='Hi'>time, one that dispenses with tensed temporal properties such as past, present, and future. In arguing for this thesis, I focus on the three facets of Leibniz's philosophy most relevant for evaluating his commitment to a B-theory of time: (1) the nature of change, (2) the reality of the future, and (3) the truth-conditions for tensed temporal statements. Despite prima facie evidence to the contrary, I show that a close examination of Leibniz's views on these topics provides compelling evidence for interpreting his philosophy of time as a B-theory of time. (shrink)
Negrotti's theory of the artificial is based on the fundamental assumption that the human being cannot select more than one observation level per unit of time. Since this assumption has important consequences for the theory of knowledge â knowledge cannot be synthesised but only further differentiated â its plausibility is tested against two aspects that characterise any theory of knowledge: knowledge production and knowledge application. The way in which the human being produces and applies knowledge is analysed, and a (...) model of mind based on the transitoriness of its elements is proposed. The analysis confirms that only one observation level can be selected per unit of time. (shrink)
Since McTaggart first proposed his paradox asserting the unreality of time, numerous philosophers have attempted to defend the tensed theory of time against it. Certainly, one of the most highly developed and original is that put forth by Quentin Smith. Through discussing McTaggart's positive conception of time as well as his negative attack on its reality, I hope to clarify the dispute between those who believe in the existence of the transitory temporal properties of pastness, presentness and (...) futurity, and those who deny their existence. We shall see that the debate centers around the ontological status of succession and the B-relations of earlier and later. I shall argue that Smith's tensed theory fails because he cannot account for the sense in which events have their tensed properties successively, and he cannot account for the direction of time. (shrink)
Concerning the versions of the Tenseless Theory of Time, the Old Btheory has two: the Date-analysis version and the Token-reflexive version, while the New B-theory has three: the Date-analysis, the Token-reflexive and the Sentence-type versions. Each of these five versions of the B-theory has received serious attacks from the A-theorists, some of whom even claim that the tenseless theory “though still widely held, is a theory in retreat” (Craig 1996), and that “if Quentin Smith (1993) delivered the (...) mortal blow to the New B-Theory of Language then Laurie Paul (1997) has written its obituary” (Craig 1999). In this paper, by making more precise some key notions involved in the formulation of a tenseless theory – in particular, two notions of truth conditions, two notions of meaning and two notions of translation are distinguished – I have come up with a single B-thesis for the B-theory. When charitably interpreted, the two versions of the old theory and the three versions of the new theory can all be regarded as special ways of presenting the same B-thesis, and the various A-attacks raised against these versions can then be resolved in a systematic way. (shrink)
Elsewhere I have suggested that the B-theory includes a notion of passage, by virtue of including succession. Here, I provide further support for that claim by showing that uncontroversial elements of the B-theory straightforwardly ground a veridical sense of passage. First, I argue that the B-theory predicts that subjects of experience have a sense of passivity with respect to time that they do not have with respect to space, which they are right to have, even according (...) to the B-theory. I then ask what else might be involved in our experience of time as passing that is not yet vindicated by the B-theoretic conception. I examine a recent B-theoretic explanation of our ‘illusory’ sense of passage, by Robin Le Poidevin, and argue that it explains away too much: our perception of succession poses no more of a problem on the B-theory than it does on other theories of time. Finally, I respond to an objection by Oreste Fiocco that a causal account of our sense of passage cannot succeed, because it leaves out the ‘phenomenological novelty’ of each moment. (shrink)
Prospect Theory (PT) is widely regarded as the most promising descriptive model for decision making under uncertainty. Various tests have corroborated the validity of the characteristic fourfold pattern of risk attitudes implied by the combination of probability weighting and value transformation. But is it also safe to assume stable PT preferences at the individual level? This is not only an empirical but also a conceptual question. Measuring the stability of preferences in a multi-parameter decision model such as PT is far (...) more complex than evaluating single-parameter models such as Expected Utility Theory under the assumption of constant relative risk aversion. There exist considerable interdependencies among parameters such that allegedly diverging parameter combinations could in fact produce very similar preference structures. In this paper, we provide a theoretic framework for measuring the (temporal) stability of PT parameters. To illustrate our methodology, we further apply our approach to 86 subjects for whom we elicit PT parameters twice, with a time lag of 1 month. While documenting remarkable stability of parameter estimates at the aggregate level, we find that a third of the subjects show significant instability across sessions. (shrink)
In this paper I explore how the tenseless copula is to be interpreted in sentences of the form “ a is F at t ”, where “ a ” denotes a persisting, changeable object, “ F ” stands for a prima facie intrinsic property and “ t ” for a B-time. I argue that the interpretation of the copula depends on the logical role assigned to the time clause. Having rejected the idea that the time clause is (...) to be treated as a sentence operator, I argue: (1) that if “at t ” is thought of as being associated with “ a ” or “ F ”, then the tenseless copula is most plausibly read as an “is” simpliciter ; and (2) that if “at t ” is treated as being associated with the copula, then the tenseless copula is most plausibly understood as expressing a disjunction of tensed copulas. I end the paper by explaining the importance of the issue. I indicate the ramifications interpretation of the tenseless copula has for the so-called problem of temporary intrinsics. (shrink)
Organizations have long struggled to find ways to reduce the occurrence of unethical behaviors by employees. Unfortunately, time theft, a common and costly form of ethical misconduct at work, has been understudied by ethics researchers. In order to remedy this gap in the literature, we used the theory of planned behavior (TPB) to investigate the antecedents of time theft, which includes behaviors such as arriving later to or leaving earlier from work than scheduled, taking additional or longer breaks (...) than is acceptable, and on-the-job daydreaming. We surveyed 135 employed undergraduate business students regarding the TPB variables at Time 1. Two months later, participants reported the frequency they engaged in time theft since Time 1. Results indicate that behavioral, normative, and control beliefs significantly predicted attitudes, subjective norms, and perceived behavioral control, respectively. Attitudes, subjective norms, and perceived behavioral control, in turn, were significantly related to time theft intentions, which predicted later enactment of time theft. Thus, employers can decrease time theft by primarily focusing on altering employees' attitudes toward time theft, followed by reducing social pressures to engage in it, and lastly, by implementing organizational practices that make it difficult to commit time theft. (shrink)
David Albert claims that classical electromagnetic theory is not time reversal invariant. He acknowledges that all physics books say that it is, but claims they are ``simply wrong" because they rely on an incorrect account of how the time reversal operator acts on magnetic fields. On that account, electric fields are left intact by the operator, but magnetic fields are inverted. Albert sees no reason for the asymmetric treatment, and insists that neither field should be inverted. I argue, (...) to the contrary, that the inversion of magnetic fields makes good sense and is, in fact, forced by elementary geometric considerations. I also suggest a way of thinking about the time reversal invariance of classical electromagnetic theory -- one that makes use of the invariant (four-dimensional) formulation of the theory -- that makes no reference to magnetic fields at all. It is my hope that it will be of interest in its own right, Albert aside. It has the advantage that it allows for arbitrary curvature in the background spacetime structure, and is therefore suitable for the framework of general relativity. (The only assumption one needs is temporal orientability.). (shrink)
After precisely specifying the thesis of the causal theory of time, Grünbaum's program developed to support this thesis is examined. Four objections to his definition of temporal order in terms of a more primitive causal relation are put and held to be conclusive. Finally, the philosophical arguments that Grünbaum has proposed supporting the desirability of establishing a causal theory of time are shown to be either invalid or inconclusive.
A recent version of the causal theory of time makes crucial use of a concept of the genidentity of events when it attempts to define temporal betweenness in terms of empirical, physical properties. By presenting and discussing an apparent counter-example it is argued that the role of genidentity in an empirical theory of time is problematic. In particular, it may be that the temporal behavior of objects is used to decide which events are genidentical, and, if so, the (...) definition of temporal betweenness is circular. On the other hand, though there are strategies for avoiding the charge of circularity, in certain hypothetical situations the definition may yield inconsistent temporal orders. Then, the definition would have to be supplemented by a choice of temporal orders, and this choice may introduce an element of conventionality into the causal theory of time. (shrink)
I attempt a reconstruction of Kant's version of the causal theory of time that makes it appear coherent. Two problems are at issue. The first concerns Kant's reference to reciprocal causal influence for characterizing simultaneity. This approach is criticized by pointing out that Kant's procedure involves simultaneous counterdirected processes-which seems to run into circularity. The problem can be defused by drawing on instantaneous processes such as the propagation of gravitation in Newtonian mechanics. Another charge of circularity against Kant's causal (...) theory was leveled by Schopenhauer. His objection was that Kant's approach is invalidated by the failure to deliver non-temporal criteria for distinguishing between causes and effects. I try to show that the modern causal account has made important progress toward a successful resolution of this difficulty. The fork asymmetry, as based on Reichenbach's principle of the common cause, provides a means for the distinction between cause and effect that is not based on temporal order (if some preconditions are realized). (shrink)
Gadamer's philosophical hermeneutics belongs to the phenomenological tradition. What is striking then is that one of the central themes in phenomenology, the nature of time consciousness, receives no sustained treatment in Gadamer's writings. It's fair to say that Gadamer is the only major figure in phenomenology not to address the issue of time at length. In this paper I argue that Gadamer does have an account of time consciousness and it can be found most (...) fully articulated in his account of the aesthetic experience connected to festivals. Festivals, as models of epochal experiences, are the primordial experiences of time upon which other forms of time consciousness (time as used and filled and scientific time) are constituted. Significantly, then, the reproduction of the meaning of tradition plays a role in the heart of Gadamer's theory of time and therefore his theory of experience. (shrink)
Clifford Williams has recently argued that the dispute between A- and B-theories, or tensed and tenseless theories of time, is spurious because once the confusions between the two theories are cleared away there is no real metaphysical difference between them. The purpose of this paper is to dispute Williams’s thesis. I argue that there are important metaphysical differences between the two theories and that, moreover, some of the claims that Williams makes in his article suggest that he is sympathetic (...) with a B-theoretic ontology. (shrink)
In this paper we explore the connections between the monadic second-order theory of one successor (MSO[<] for short) and the theories of ?-layered structures for time granularity. We first prove that the decision problem for MSO[<] and that for a suitable first-order theory of the upward unbounded layered structure are inter-reducible. Then, we show that a similar result holds for suitable chain variants of the MSO theory of the totally unbounded layered structure (this allows us to solve some decision (...) problems about theories of time granularity left open by Franceschet et al. [FRA 06]). (shrink)
The New Theory of Reference (NTR) of Marcus, Kripke, Kaplan, Putnam and others is a theory in the philosophy of language and there has been much debate about whether it entails the metaphysical theory of essentialism. But there has been no discussion about whether the NTR entails another metaphysical theory, the absolutist theory of time and space. It is argued in this paper that the NTR carries this entailment; the theory of time is the main focus of the (...) paper and it is argued that the NTR entails the absolutist theory that times are event-independent moments. (shrink)
The purpose of the present paper is to reply to a misleading paper by M. Sachs entitled “Einstein's later view of the Twin Paradox” (TP) (Found. Phys. 15, 977 (1985)). There, by selecting some passages from Einstein's papers, he tried to convince the reader that Einstein changed his mind regarding the asymmetric aging of the twins on different motions. Also Sachs insinuates that he presented several years ago “convincing mathematical arguments” proving that the theory of relativity does not predict asymmetrical (...) aging in the TP. Here we give a definitive treatment to the clocks problem showing that Sachs' “convincing mathematical arguments” are non sequitur. Also, by properly quoting Einstein, we show that his later view of the TP coincides with the one derived from the rigorous theory of time developed in this paper. (shrink)
Through the philosophies of Bergson and Deleuze, my paper explores a different theory of time. I reconstitute Deleuze’s paradoxes of the past in Difference and Repetition and Bergsonism to reveal a theory of time in which the relation between past and present is one of coexistence rather than succession. The theory of memory implied here is a non-representational one. To elaborate this theory, I ask: what is the role of the “virtual image” in Bergson’s Matter and Memory? Far (...) from representing the simple afterimage of a present perception, the “virtual image” carries multiple senses. Contracting the immediate past for the present, or expanding virtually to hold the whole of memory (and even the whole of the universe), the virtual image can form a bridge between the present and the non-representational past. This non-representational account of memory sheds light not only on the structure of time for Bergson, but also on his concepts of pure memory and virtuality. The rereading of memory also opens the way for Bergsonian intuition to play an intersubjective role; intuition becomes a means for navigating the resonances and dissonances that can be felt between different rhythms of becoming or planes of memory, which constitute different subjects. (shrink)
In this paper, I start with the opposition between the Husserlian project of a phenomenology of the experience of time, started in 1905, and the mathematical and physical theory of time as it comes out of Einstein’s special theory of relativity in the same year. Although the contrast between the two approaches is apparent, my aim is to show that the original program of Husserl’s time theory is the constitution of an objective time and a (...) class='Hi'>time of the world, starting from the intuitive giveness of time, i.e., from time as it appears. To show this, I stress the structural similarity between Husserl’s original question of time and the problem of a phenomenology of space constitution as it was first developed in the his manuscripts from the nineteenth century, in which we find the threefold question of the origin of our representation of space, of the geometrization of intuitive space, and of the constitution of transcendent world space. Finally, I reconsider some of Husserl’s main theses about the phenomenological constitution of objective time in light of the main results of special relativity time-theory, introducing several corrections to central assumptions that underlie Husserl’s theory of time. (shrink)
The A-theory of time says that it is an objective, non-perspectival fact about the world that some events are present, while others were present or will be present. I shall argue that the A-theory has some implausible consequences for inductive reasoning. In particular, the presentist version of the A-theory, which holds that the difference between the present and the non-present consists in the present events being the only ones that exist, is very much in trouble.
I have argued that the most recent versions of the causal theory are subject to serious limitations. The causal analysis of spatiotemporal coincidence considered in Section IV does not apply to space-times in which (1) fails. And current versions of the theory collapse altogether for typical cases of relativistic space-times which are closed in their temporal aspects. Second, I have pointed out that the program of recent causal theorists is based on a false dichotomy — open vs. closed times; for (...) only a small subclass of relativisitic space-times can be said to be either open or closed in their temporal aspects, and the causal theory seems incapable of handling the cases which fall in between. Third, I have argued that the general theory of relativity does not provide motivation for the causal theory; on the contrary, general relativity promotes the view of spacetime as a substantial entity.As a result, I do not see that the causal theorist has a convincing argument against the position which holds that in order to understand the subtle and complex temporal structures encompassed by relativity theory, one must accept space-time as an entity which cannot be analyzed away as an abstract mathematical construct used for representing the ‘physical’, i.e., causal, relations between events. And I cannot agree with van Fraassen (1970, p. 140) that Philosophers were not long in appreciating this development [i.e., relativity theory], and the consequent construction of the causal theory of time and space-time must be considered one of the major contributions of twentieth-century philosophy of science. For it seems to me that causal theorists have failed to appreciate this development and that the construction of the causal theory has served to obscure important and interesting facts about the temporal aspect of space-time. (shrink)
The new tenseless theory of time, Developed primarily by j j c smart and d h mellor, States that tensed sentence-Utterances cannot be translated by tenseless ones but nevertheless have tenseless truth conditions. Smart and mellor infer from this that the tenseless theory of time is true. The author argues, However, That the rules of use of tensed sentence-Utterances entail that these utterances also have tensed truth conditions. This implies that the tensed theory of time is true.
Quentin Smith has argued (Philosophical Studies, 1987, pp. 371-392) that the token-reflexive and the date versions of the new tenseless theory of time are open to insurmountable difficulties. I argue that Smith's central arguments are irrelevant since they rest upon methodological assumptions accepted by the old tenseless theory, but rejected by the new tenseless theory.
presentness is a relational property, then this theory is compatible with STR but inconsistent with the tensed theory of time (the theory of objective time flow). But if presentness is a monadic property, the..
In this book and the companion volume The Tenseless Theory of Time: A Critical Examination, Craig undertakes the first thorough appraisal of the arguments for and against the tensed and tenseless theories of time.
This paper examines the problem of founding irreversibility on reversible equations of motion from the point of view of the Brussels school's recent developments in the foundations of quantum statistical mechanics. A detailed critique of both their 'subdynamics' and 'transformation' theory is given. It is argued that the subdynamics approach involves a generalized form of 'coarse-graining' description, whereas, transformation theory cannot lead to truly irreversible processes pointing to a preferred direction of time. It is concluded that the Brussels school's (...) conception of microscopic temporal irreversibility, as such, is tacitly assumed at the macroscopic level. Finally a logical argument is provided which shows, independently of the mathematical formalism of the theory concerned, that statistical reasoning alone is not sufficient to explain the arrow of time. (shrink)
This article argues for a new way to interpret Dōgen's theory of time, reading the notion of uji as momentary existence, and shows that many notorious difficulties usually associated with the theory can be overcome with this approach, which is also more compatible with some fundamental assumptions of Buddhist philosophy (the non-durational existence of dharmas, the arbitrariness of linguistic designations and the concepts they point to, the absence of self-nature in beings, etc.). It is also shown how this reading (...) leads to an innovative treatment of the concept of selfhood, viewing the self as the active openness of an existent to the surrounding world, with which it is able to identify through a mutual relation with other existents within the existential moment. This argument is supported by an alternative translation in the "momentary mode" of those extracts of the fascicle that introduce or elaborate on Dōgen's key concepts. (shrink)
Aristotle denied that time was an entity or thing that could exist independently of objects or things--in this respect, his theory is quite modern. He recognized the relationship of time and motion and consequently defines time as the measure or number of a continuous motion taken without qualification. In this paper I reconstruct Aristotle's theory of time using entropy as the 'continuous motion taken without qualification' and note that this helps to explain several passages in the (...) Physics that seem quite obscure otherwise, but in the final analysis an entropic interpretation cannot rescue his theory from certain shortcomings. (shrink)
The experimental testing of the Lorentz transformations is based on a family of sets of coordinate transformations that do not comply in general with the principle of equivalence of the inertial frames. The Lorentz and Galilean sets of transformations are the only member sets of the family that satisfy this principle. In the neighborhood of regular points of space-time, all members in the family are assumed to comply with local homogeneity of space-time and isotropy of space in at (...) least one free-falling elevator, to be denoted as Robertson'sab initio rest frame [H. P. Robertson,Rev. Mod. Phys. 21, 378 (1949)].Without any further assumptions, it is shown that Robertson's rest frame becomes a preferred frame for all member sets of the Robertson family except for, again, Galilean and Einstein's relativities. If one now assumes the validity of Maxwell-Lorentz electrodynamics in the preferred frame, a different electrodynamics spontaneously emerges for each set of transformations. The flat space-time of relativity retains its relevance, which permits an obvious generalization, in a Robertson context, of Dirac's theory of the electron and Einstein's gravitation. The family of theories thus obtained constitutes a covering theory of relativistic physics.A technique is developed to move back and forth between Einstein's relativity and the different members of the family of theories. It permits great simplifications in the analysis of relativistic experiments with relevant “Robertson's subfamilies.” It is shown how to adapt the Clifford algebra version of standard physics for use with the covering theory and, in particular, with the covering Dirac theory. (shrink)
In the usual description of space and time, particles are represented by continuous world lines. We replace these world lines by discrete rows of points, obtaining a locally finite, partially ordered set. The “distances” between points along these discrete world lines, and also the “distances” between different world lines, are measured not simply as the distances within the space-time manifold in which the partially ordered set happens to be embedded, but rather in terms of the partially ordered set (...) itself. It is found that variations in the density of points of the partially ordered set produce corresponding variations in the scale of “distances” within the set. These variations produce a gravitational effect which is similar to that of the general theory of relativity. (shrink)
This paper aims at engaging Kant’s and Schelling’s theories of time in dialogue. It begins with Schelling’s famous criticism of Kant’s theory of time in his Weltalter (Ages of the World). It will examine this question from four main perspectives, namely the unity of time; time and a unitary object of experience;subjectivity of time; and the problem of infinity of time. It will show that Schelling’s criticism may instigate some fundamental reflections on Kant’s theory (...) oftime, the relation between objective and subjective time, and the possibilities of connecting Kant’s different meanings of time in his first Critique. Further, it willshow that despite the fundamental differences between Kant’s and Schelling’s philosophical systems, some of Schelling’s ideas about time may have their earlier expressions in Kant. While Schelling has gone further and radicalized some insights from Kant in his own version of idealism, his criticism of Kant may find possible responses from the latter’s first Critique. (shrink)