Time and Change

Edited by Stephan Torre (University of Aberdeen, Northern Institute of Philosophy)
About this topic
Summary What is the relation between time and change? Can time pass without change? Or, as Hume thought, does the passage of time require change? How do we make sense of change in objects? Consider the fire poker: it is hot and glowing red now but it was cold and black an hour ago. How can it have incompatible properties of being black and not black? Hot and not hot? The natural answer is that it has these incompatible properties at different times. But what is the correct metaphysical account of how this happens? Does the poker stand in different relations to different times? Does it have temporal parts some of which are hot and others which are cold? Maybe it's enough to say that it was cold but is no longer cold. Another question concerning time and change is: can we change the future? In what sense is the future alterable? Does time travel involve the ability to change the past? This category covers all issues concerning the relation between time and change.
Key works David Hume's influential discussion of the relation between time and change can be found in Book I, Part 2 of Norton & Norton 2007. Sydney Shoemaker provides arguments against the view that time requires change in his Shoemaker 1969, David Lewis discusses the problem of temporary intrinsics in Section 4.2 of Lewis 1986.
Introductions Good introductions to issues concerning change and time can be found in Wasserman 2006 and Markosian 2010.
Related categories

169 found
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  1. Change, Time, and Causality: With Special Reference to Muslim Thought.Aziz Ahmad - 1974 - Pakistan Philosophical Congress.
  2. Problem zmiany a identyczność numeryczna.Adam Andrzejewski - 2011 - Filozofia Nauki 2.
    In the paper, classical assumptions of the problem of change are presented and analyzed. The author considers following assumptions which make theses about: (i) identity and persistence through time; (ii) a conceptual change; (iii) intrinsic properties; and (iv) the Leibniz's Law. In the light of the analyses, it is shown that the problem of change does not have substantial nature and therefore cannot be treated as legitimization of the theories of persistence. Finally, the author acknowledges a relationship between the rethought (...)
  3. SWINBURNE, RICHARD Space, Time and Causality. [REVIEW]D. M. Armstrong - 1984 - Philosophy 59:539.
  4. Tense and Relativity.Andrew Bacon - 2016 - Noûs 50 (4).
    Those inclined to positions in the philosophy of time that take tense seriously have typically assumed that not all regions of space-time are equal: one special region of space-time corresponds to what is presently happening. When combined with assumptions from modern physics this has the unsettling consequence that the shape of this favored region distinguishes people in certain places or people traveling at certain velocities. In this paper I shall attempt to avoid this result by developing a tensed picture of (...)
  5. The Representation of Time and Change in Mechanics.Gordon Belot - 2007 - In John Earman & Jeremy Butterfield (eds.), Philosophy of Physics. Elsevier. pp. 133--227.
    This chapter is concerned with the representation of time and change in classical (i.e., non-quantum) physical theories. One of the main goals of the chapter is to attempt to clarify the nature and scope of the so-called problem of time: a knot of technical and interpretative problems that appear to stand in the way of attempts to quantize general relativity, and which have their roots in the general covariance of that theory. The most natural approach to these questions is via (...)
  6. Time for a Change in Public Education, but What Change?Erna Bennett - 2000 - Nature, Society, and Thought 13 (2):181-214.
  7. The Causal Efficiency of the Passage of Time.Jiri Benovsky - 2012 - Philosophia 40 (4):763-769.
    Does mere passage of time have causal powers ? Are properties like "being n days past" causally efficient ? A pervasive intuition among metaphysicians seems to be that they don't. Events and/or objects change, and they cause or are caused by other events and/or objects; but one does not see how just the mere passage of time could cause any difference in the world. In this paper, I shall discuss a case where it seems that mere passage of time does (...)
  8. The Relationist and Substantivalist Theories of Time: Foes or Friends?Jiri Benovsky - 2011 - European Journal of Philosophy 19 (4):491-506.
    Abstract: There are two traditionally rival views about the nature of time: substantivalism that takes time to be a substance that exists independently of events located in it, and relationism that takes time to be constructed out of events. In this paper, first, I want to make some progress with respect to the debate between these two views, and I do this mainly by examining the strategies they use to face the possibilities of ‘empty time’ and ‘time without change’. As (...)
  9. The Problem of Temporary Intrinsics.Montserrat Bordes - 2011 - In Michael Bruce & Steven Barbone (eds.), Just the Arguments: 100 of the Most Important Arguments in Western Philosophy. Wiley-Blackwell.
  10. Aristotle's Account of Time.David Bostock - 1980 - Phronesis 25 (2):148 - 169.
  11. Plato on Change and Time in the "Parmenides".David Bostock - 1978 - Phronesis 23 (3):229 - 242.
  12. Plato on Change and Time in the Parmenides.David Bostock - 1978 - Phronesis 23 (3):229-242.
  13. Aristotle on the Order and Direction of Time.John Bowin - 2009 - Apeiron 42 (1):49-78.
    This paper defends Aristotle’s project of deriving the order of time from the order of change in Physics 4.11, against the objection that it contains a vicious circularity arising from the assumption that we cannot specify the direction of a change without invoking the temporal relations of its stages. It considers and rejects a solution to this objection proposed by Ursula Coope, and proposes an alternative solution. It also considers the related problem of how the temporal orders and directions derived (...)
  14. Aristotelian Endurantism: A New Solution to the Problem of Temporary Intrinsics.J. E. Brower - 2010 - Mind 119 (476):883-905.
    It is standardly assumed that there are three — and only three — ways to solve problem of temporary intrinsics: (a) embrace presentism, (b) relativize property possession to times, or (c) accept the doctrine of temporal parts. The first two solutions are favoured by endurantists, whereas the third is the perdurantist solution of choice. In this paper, I argue that there is a further type of solution available to endurantists, one that not only avoids the usual costs, but is structurally (...)
  15. Time, Change, and Sociocultural Communication.Thomas J. Bruneau - 2007 - Sign Systems Studies 35 (1-2):89-116.
    The temporal orientations of any sociocultural grouping are major factors comprising its central identity. The manner in which the past (memories), the present (perception), and the future (anticipation/expectation) are commonly articulated also concern cultural identity. The identity of a cultural group is altered by developmental changes in time keeping and related objective, scientific temporalities.Three modes of temporality, objective, narrative, and transcendental, congruent with different kinds of brain processes, are common throughout our planet. Objective temporality tends to alter and replace traditional (...)
  16. The New Paradox of Temporal Transience.David J. Buller & Thomas R. Foster - 1992 - Philosophical Quarterly 42 (168):357-366.
    McTaggart raised a famed paradox regarding the transientist conception of time, the idea that the present moves into the future to overtake future events (or, alternatively, that future events move into the present) and past events recede further and further into the past as time goes on. Schlesinger has recently attempted an ingenious transientist solution to McTaggart's paradox. We will argue that Schlesinger's solution to McTaggart's paradox itself gives rise to a new, yet perfectly parallel, paradox which can only be (...)
  17. Time and Change Short but Differing Philosophies.Elias Harry Chacalos - 1989 - Potomac Press Circle.
  18. Causation and Change.William Charlton - 1983 - Philosophy 58 (224):143 - 160.
    From the way we speak it appears that we think changes do not merely come about but are brought about. Can we really think this? Have we any idea of the bringing or being brought about of a change distinct from our idea of its coming about? In the first part of this paper I shall try to describe some of the forms of causal thinking which are reflected in our ordinary causal judgments. In the second, having criticized two current (...)
  19. The Time Dimension: Contribution Toward a Theory of Sound Change.Matthew Chen - 1972 - Foundations of Language 8 (4):457-498.
  20. Aristotle : Time and Change.Ursula Coope - 2009 - In Robin Le Poidevin (ed.), The Routledge Companion to Metaphysics. Routledge.
  21. Time for Aristotle: Physics Iv.10-14.Ursula Coope - 2005 - Oxford University Press.
    What is the relation between time and change? Does time depend on the mind? Is the present always the same or is it always different? Aristotle tackles these questions in the Physics. In the first book in English exclusively devoted to this discussion, Ursula Coope argues that Aristotle sees time as a universal order within which all changes are related to each other. This interpretation enables her to explain two striking Aristotelian claims: that the now is like a moving thing, (...)
  22. Why Does Aristotle Say That There is No Time Without Change?Ursula Coope - 2001 - Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society 101 (3):359–367.
  23. Why Does Aristotle Say That There is No Time Without Change?Ursula Coope - 2001 - Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society 101 (3):359-367.
  24. Could Time Be Change?Denis Corish - 2009 - Philosophy 84 (2):219-232.
    Sydney Shoemaker argues that time without change is possible, but begs the question by assuming an, in effect, Newtonian absolute time, that 'flows equably' in a region in which there is no change and in one in which there is. An equally possible, relativist, assumption, consistent, it seems, with relativity theory, is that where nothing changes there is no time flow, though there may be elsewhere, where there is change. Such an assumption would require some revision of uncritical common thought (...)
  25. Eternal Facts in an Ageing Universe.Fabrice Correia & Sven Rosenkranz - 2012 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 90 (2):307 - 320.
    In recent publications, Kit Fine devises a classification of A-theories of time and defends a non-standard A-theory he calls fragmentalism, according to which reality as a whole is incoherent but fragments into classes of mutually coherent tensed facts. We argue that Fine's classification in not exhaustive, as it ignores another non-standard A-theory we dub dynamic absolutism, according to which there are tensed facts that stay numerically the same and yet undergo qualitative changes as time goes by. We expound this theory (...)
  26. McTaggart's Paradox and the Problem of Temporary Intrinsics.W. L. Craig - 1998 - Analysis 58 (2):122-127.
  27. Oaklander on Mctaggart and Intrinsic Change.William Lane Craig - 1999 - Analysis 59 (4):319–320.
  28. Mctaggart's Paradox and the Problem of Temporary Intrinsics.William Lane Craig - 1998 - Analysis 58 (2):122–127.
  29. Time for Change.Phillip D. Cummins - 1965 - Analysis 26 (2):41 - 43.
  30. Discreteness of Time and Change.Johannes Czermak & Kordula Świętorzecka - 2011 - Studia Philosophiae Christianae 4:5-17.
  31. The Experience of Time and Change.Barry Dainton - 2008 - Philosophy Compass 3 (4):619-638.
    Can we directly experience change? Although some philosophers have denied it, the phenomenological evidence is unambiguous: we can, and do. But how is this possible? What structures or features of consciousness render such experience possible? A variety of very different answers to this question have been proposed, answers which have very different implications for the nature of consciousness itself. In this brief survey no attempt is made to engage with the often complex (and sometimes obscure) literature on this topic. Instead, (...)
  32. The Accumulation of Change Depending on the Time Factor.Plamen Damianov - 2007 - Forum Philosophicum: International Journal for Philosophy 12 (1):177-192.
  33. Die Idee der Verwandlung.Andreas Dorschel - 2007 - In Verwandlungsmusik. Über komponierte Transfigurationen. Universal Edition. pp. 11-51.
    Within the European history of ideas, at least three conceptions of metamorphosis can be distinguished. First, as celebrated in Ovid’s Metamorphoses, there is the vision of an open-ended flux of shapes in all directions, potentially with the ambiguous result of wavering identity. Secondly, at the centre of the synoptic gospels Jesus’s transfiguration is presented as a luminous elevation, rendering his true nature unambiguous. Thirdly, alchemy conceives of metamorphosis as contingent upon a meeting of polarities. The distinction is fit to disclose (...)
  34. Is Time a Continuum of Instants?Michael Dummett - 2000 - Philosophy 75 (4):497-515.
    Our model of time is the classical continuum of real numbers, and our model of other measurable quantities that change over time is that of functions defined on real numbers with real numbers as values. This model is not derived from reality or from our experience of it, but imposed on reality; and the fit is very imperfect. In classical mathematics, the value of a function for any real number as argument is independent of its value for any other argument: (...)
  35. Three Arguments From Temporary Intrinsics.M. Eddon - 2010 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 81 (3):605-619.
    The Argument from Temporary Intrinsics is one of the canonical arguments against endurantism. I show that the two standard ways of presenting the argument have limited force. I then present a new version of the argument, which provides a more promising articulation of the underlying objection to endurantism. However, the premises of this argument conflict with the gauge theories of particle physics, and so this version of the argument is no more successful than its predecessors. I conclude that no version (...)
  36. Did the Past Really Change in 2012?Terence Rajivan Edward - 2015 - Organon F: Medzinárodný Časopis Pre Analytickú Filozofiu 22 (3):340-344.
    There is an intuition that the past does not ever change. In their paper ‘The puzzle of the changing past,’ Luca Barlassina and Fabio Del Prete argue that in 2012 the past changed. I show that we are not in a position to accept their argument.
  37. Lewis, Temporary Intrinsics and Momentary Tropes.Douglas Ehring - 1997 - Analysis 57 (4):254–258.
  38. Tenses, Changes, and Space-Time.Jan Faye - unknown
    Here I develop the idea, which I have presented elsewhere, that time instants are abstract entities existing tenselessly and therefore that events and changes likewise may be said to exist tenselessly in virtue of their place at a certain space-time point.
  39. Becoming: Temporal, Absolute, and Atemporal.M. Oreste Fiocco - 2014 - In L. Nathan Oaklander (ed.), Debates in the Metaphysics of Time. Bloomsbury Academic. pp. 87-107.
    There are two conspicuous and inescapable features of this world in which time is real. One experiences a world in flux, a transient world in which things constantly come into existence, change and cease to be. One also experiences a stable world, one in which how things are at any given moment is permanent, unchangeable. Thus, there is transience and permanence. Yet these two features of the world seem incompatible. The primary purpose of this paper is to sketch a metaphysics (...)
  40. Temporary Intrinsics and Relativization.M. Oreste Fiocco - 2010 - Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 91 (1):64-77.
    Some have concluded that the only appropriate response to the problem of temporary intrinsics is the view that familiar, concrete objects persist through time by perduring, that is, by having temporal parts. Many, including myself, believe this view of persistence is false, and so reject this conclusion. However, the most common attempts to resolve the problem and yet defend the view that familiar, concrete objects endure are self-defeating. This has heretofore gone unnoticed. I consider the most familiar such attempts, based (...)
  41. Time and the Transience of Temporal Reality.Marcello Oreste Fiocco - 2002 - Dissertation, University of California, Santa Barbara
    I take it for granted that time---this thing that renders change possible---is real and that as beings in time we are in the position to intuit and rationally assess the nature of temporal reality. Intuition and assessment provide compelling evidence for the claim that the existence of time affects the structure of the world in various significant ways, for example, by yielding qualitative or ontological differences between this moment and the ones preceding and succeeding it, and, hence, that the nature (...)
  42. Endurance and Discernibility.Robert Francescotti - 2008 - Metaphysica 9 (2):193-204.
    How can an object remain the same, numerically identical, while undergoing change? This is a worry for endurantists, who hold that for any stages, x and y, of a persisting object, x is numerically identical with y. Endurantists might try to avoid the problem of change by insisting that all properties are temporally anchored. It is argued here that while this strategy helps in many cases, it does not help in all. A type of case is presented in which a (...)
  43. The Experience of Temporal Passage.Akiko M. Frischhut - 2013 - Dissertation, University of Geneva
    The project of my dissertation was to advance the metaphysical debate about temporal passage, by relating it to debates about the perceptual experience of time and change. It seems true that we experience temporal passage, even if there is disagreement whether time actually passes, or what temporal passage consists in. This appears to give the defender of dynamic time an advantage in accounting for our experience. I challenge this by arguing that no major account of temporal perception can accommodate experiences (...)
  44. Identity Over Time.Andre Gallois - 2008 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
    Traditionally, this puzzle has been solved in various ways. Aristotle, for example, distinguished between “accidental” and “essential” changes. Accidental changes are ones that don't result in a change in an objects' identity after the change, such as when a house is painted, or one's hair turns gray, etc. Aristotle thought of these as changes in the accidental properties of a thing. Essential changes, by contrast, are those which don't preserve the identity of the object when it changes, such as when (...)
  45. Occasions of Identity: A Study in the Metaphysics of Persistence, Change, and Sameness.André Gallois - 1998 - Oxford University Press.
    Occasions of Identity is an exploration of timeless philosophical issues about persistence, change, time, and sameness. Andre Gallois offers a critical survey of various rival views about the nature of identity and change, and puts forward his own original theory. He supports the idea of occasional identities, arguing that it is coherent and helpful to suppose that things can be identical at one time but distinct at another. Gallois defends this view, demonstrating how it can solve puzzles about persistence dating (...)
  46. Time and Change. Mc Taggart, Broad, Lowe, Smart, Prior: Problems, Difficulties, Hypotheses of Solutions.M. Gentile - 2010 - Metalogicon 1:9-39.
    This paper concerns the issue of time understood as the dimension of change. I want to discuss it in relation to the argument which had a considerable impact on modern philosophical and physical researches in the field: Mc Taggart‟s „argument of unreality of time‟. I will begin by briefly outlining such argument and then I will examine some of the major objections to it. I question if this kind of description does embody the reality of time. I will conclude by (...)
  47. Time, Objects, and Identity.Ian Gibson - unknown
    This is a copy of my DPhil thesis, the abstract for which is as follows: The first third of this thesis argues for a B-theoretic conception of time according to which all times exist equally and the present is in no way privileged. I distinguish "ontological" A-theories from "non-ontological" ones, arguing that the latter are experientially unmotivated and barely coherent. With regard to the former, I focus mainly on presentism. After some remarks on how to formulate this (and eternalism) non-trivially, (...)
  48. Change and Actuality.William Godfrey-Smith - 1980 - Philosophical Quarterly 30 (121):350-355.
  49. Speaking of Flux.Xiaoqiang Han - 2009 - Acta Analytica 24 (1):33-42.
    The aim of this paper is to explain how the Heraclitean doctrine of universal flux must be rejected, while the notion of flux should and can be preserved. Against the reductionist account of subjectless change, a modern version of the Heraclitean doctrine advocated by revisionist metaphysics, I argue that (1) the idea of subjectless change is one that can and should be formulated in the established conceptual framework, and (2) subjectlessness is a feature that most aptly characterizes material changes. In (...)
  50. Subjetless Change Revisted.Xiaoqiang Han - 2008 - E – L O G O S 1211:24.
    This paper seeks to formulate the idea of subjectless change in the established conceptual scheme, which is so often thought to necessarily exclude it. The idea, first espoused by some pre-Socratic thinkers in the form of the universal flux doctrine, was subsequently abandoned due to its alleged logical incoherence. Its reintroduction in contemporary metaphysics is essentially part of a massive revolt against the established conceptual scheme; it serves as a conceptual tool to reinterpret the world and to represent it in (...)
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