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Hilary Putnam (1967). Time and Physical Geometry.

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  1.  28
    Actualism Without Presentism? Not by Way of the Relativity Objection.Nina Emery - forthcoming - Noûs.
    Actualism is the view that only actually existing things exist. Presentism is the view that only presently existing things exist. In this paper, I argue that being an actualist without also being a presentist is not as easy as many philosophers seem to think. A common objection to presentism is that there is an unavoidable conflict between presentism and relativity theory. But actualists who do not wish to be presentists cannot point to this relativity objection alone to support their position. (...)
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  2.  36
    The Roots of C. D. Broad’s Growing Block Theory of Time.Thomas Emily - forthcoming - Mind:fzx020.
    The growing block view of time holds that the past and present are real whilst the future is unreal; as future events become present and real, they are added on to the growing block of reality. Surprisingly, given the recent interest in this view, there is very little literature on its origins. This paper explores those origins, and advances two theses. First, I show that although C. D. Broad’s Scientific Thought provides the first defence of the growing block theory, the (...)
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  3. Tense and Relativity.Andrew Bacon - 2018 - Noûs 52 (3):667-696.
    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 (...)
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  4.  36
    Time, Physics, and Philosophy: It's All Relative.Sam Baron - 2018 - Philosophy Compass 13 (1).
    This article provides a non-technical overview of the conflict between the special theory of relativity and the dynamic theories of time. The chief argument against dynamic theories of time from relativistic mechanics is presented. The space of current responses to that argument is subsequently mapped.
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  5.  16
    The Unique Groundability of Temporal Facts.John Cusbert & Kristie Miller - 2018 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 97 (2):410-432.
    The A-theory and the B-theory advance competing claims about how time is grounded. The A-theory says that A-facts are more fundamental in grounding time than are B-facts, and the B-theory says the reverse. We argue that whichever theory is true of the actual world is also true of all possible worlds containing time. We do this by arguing that time is uniquely groundable: however time is actually grounded, it is necessarily grounded in that way. It follows that if either the (...)
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  6. Philosophical Arguments Against the A-Theory.Daniel Deasy - 2018 - Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 99 (2):270-292.
    According to the A-theory of time some instant of time is absolutely present. Many reject the A-theory on the grounds that it is inconsistent with current spacetime physics, which appears to leave no room for absolute presentness. However, some reject the A-theory on purely philosophical grounds. In this article I describe three purely philosophical arguments against the A-theory and show that there are plausible A-theoretic responses to each of them. I conclude that, whatever else is wrong with the A-theory, it (...)
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  7.  8
    Physics’ Silence on Time.Yuval Dolev - 2018 - European Journal for Philosophy of Science 8 (3):455-469.
    In this paper I argue that physics is, always was, and probably always will be voiceless with respect to tense and passage, and that, therefore, if, as I believe, tense and passage are the essence of time, physics’ contribution to our understanding of time can only be limited. The argument, in a nutshell, is that if "physics has no possibility of expression for the Now", to quote Einstein, then it cannot add anything to the study of tense and passage, and (...)
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  8.  16
    Imprints in Time: Towards a Moderately Robust Past.Michael Tze-Sung Longenecker - 2018 - Philosophical Studies 175 (10):2429-2446.
    Presentism says that only present objects exist. But the view has trouble grounding past-tensed truths like “dinosaurs existed”. Standard Eternalism grounds those truths by positing the existence of past objects—like dinosaurs. But Standard Eternalism conflicts with the intuition that there is genuine change—the intuition that there once were dinosaurs and no longer are any. I offer a novel theory of time—‘The Imprint’—that does a better job preserving both the grounding and genuine change intuitions. The Imprint says that the past and (...)
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  9.  14
    The Passage of Time and its Enemies: An Introduction to Time and Reality II.Emiliano Boccardi - 2017 - Manuscrito 40 (1):5-41.
    ABSTRACT This essay is a critical introduction to the second part of the special issue Time and Reality. The volume contains responses to papers appeared in the first part, as well as many original articles. The aim of this introduction is to frame these works within the general arena of the philosophy of time, highlighting a number of recurrent themes. A central theme that emerges is a difficulty in pinning down the ontological structure underlying dynamicity and passage without postulating a (...)
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  10. Simplicity as a Criterion of Theory Choice in Metaphysics.Andrew Brenner - 2017 - Philosophical Studies 174 (11):2687-2707.
    Metaphysicians frequently appeal to the idea that theoretical simplicity is truth conducive in metaphysics, in the sense that, all other things being equal, simpler metaphysical theories are more likely to be true. In this paper I defend the notion that theoretical simplicity is truth conducive in metaphysics, against several recent objections. I do not give any direct arguments for the thesis that simplicity is truth conducive in metaphysics, since I am aware of no such arguments. I do argue, however, that (...)
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  11. What is Presentism?Daniel Deasy - 2017 - Noûs 51 (2):378-397.
    Different versions of the A-theory of time are traditionally defined in terms of whether everything is present, or whether there are also past and future things. In this paper I argue that the traditional way of defining A-theories should be abandoned. I focus on the traditional definition of presentism, according to which always, everything is present. First, I argue that there are good reasons to reject all the most plausible interpretations of the predicate ‘is present’ as it appears in the (...)
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  12.  3
    A and B Theories of Closed Time.Phill Dowe - 2017 - Manuscrito 40 (1):183-196.
    ABSTRACT Closed time is possible in several senses of ‘possible’. One might like to know, therefore, whether closed time is possible in the sense that it is compatible with standard metaphysical theories of time. In this paper I am concerned with whether closed time is compatible with A and/or B theories of time. A common enough view amongst philosophers is that B theories do but A theories do not allow closed time. However, I show that prima-facie neither approach allows closed (...)
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  13.  27
    The Rights of Future Persons and the Ontology of Time.Aaron M. Griffith - 2017 - Journal of Social Philosophy 48 (1):58-70.
    Many are committed to the idea that the present generation has obligations to future generations, for example, obligations to preserve the environment and certain natural resources for those generations. However, some philosophers want to explain why we have these obligations in terms of correlative rights that future persons have against persons in the present. Attributing such rights to future persons is controversial, for there seem to be compelling arguments against the position. According to the “nonexistence” argument, future persons cannot have (...)
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  14.  42
    On the Ontology of Spacetime: Substantivalism, Relationism, Eternalism, and Emergence.Gustavo E. Romero - 2017 - Foundations of Science 22 (1):141-159.
    I present a discussion of some issues in the ontology of spacetime. After a characterisation of the controversies among relationists, substantivalists, eternalists, and presentists, I offer a new argument for rejecting presentism, the doctrine that only present objects exist. Then, I outline and defend a form of spacetime realism that I call event substantivalism. I propose an ontological theory for the emergence of spacetime from more basic entities. Finally, I argue that a relational theory of pre-geometric entities can give rise (...)
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  15. Relativity and Three Four‐Dimensionalisms.Cody Gilmore, Damiano Costa & Claudio Calosi - 2016 - Philosophy Compass 11 (2):102-120.
    Relativity theory is often said to support something called ‘the four-dimensional view of reality’. But there are at least three different views that sometimes go by this name. One is ‘spacetime unitism’, according to which there is a spacetime manifold, and if there are such things as points of space or instants of time, these are just spacetime regions of different sorts: thus space and time are not separate manifolds. A second is the B-theory of time, according to which the (...)
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  16.  82
    The Virtues of Thisness Presentism.David Ingram - 2016 - Philosophical Studies 173 (11):2867-2888.
    Presentists believe that only present things exist. But opponents insist this view has unacceptable implications: if only present things exist, we can’t express singular propositions about the past, since the obvious propositional constituents don’t exist, nor can we account for temporal passage, or the openness of the future. According to such opponents, and in spite of the apparent ‘common sense’ status of the view, presentism should be rejected on the basis of these unacceptable implications. In this paper, I present and (...)
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  17.  42
    Prior’s Thank-Goodness Argument Reconsidered.Matt La Vine - 2016 - Synthese 193 (11).
    Arthur Prior’s argument for the A-theory of time in “Thank Goodness That’s Over” is perhaps his most famous and well-known non-logical work. Still, I think that this paper is one of his most misunderstood works. Because of this, much of its brilliance has yet to be properly appreciated. In this paper, I suggest that the explanation of this is that it has been treated as though it were following the standard model for a piece of Analytic philosophy. That is, it (...)
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  18.  51
    Space–Time Philosophy Reconstructed Via Massive Nordström Scalar Gravities? Laws Vs. Geometry, Conventionality, and Underdetermination.J. Brian Pitts - 2016 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part B: Studies in History and Philosophy of Modern Physics 53:73-92.
    What if gravity satisfied the Klein-Gordon equation? Both particle physics from the 1920s-30s and the 1890s Neumann-Seeliger modification of Newtonian gravity with exponential decay suggest considering a "graviton mass term" for gravity, which is _algebraic_ in the potential. Unlike Nordström's "massless" theory, massive scalar gravity is strictly special relativistic in the sense of being invariant under the Poincaré group but not the 15-parameter Bateman-Cunningham conformal group. It therefore exhibits the whole of Minkowski space-time structure, albeit only indirectly concerning volumes. Massive (...)
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  19.  66
    Causal Order, Temporal Order, and Becoming in Special Relativity.Hanoch Ben-Yami - 2015 - Topoi 34 (1):277-281.
    I reconstruct from Rietdijk and Putnam’s well-known papers an argument against the applicability of the concept of becoming in Special Relativity, which I think is unaffected by some of the objections found in the literature. I then consider a line of thought found in the discussion of the possible conventionality of simultaneity in Special Relativity, beginning with Reichenbach, and apply it to the debate over becoming. We see that it immediately renders Rietdijk and Putnam’s argument unsound. I end by comparing (...)
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  20. The Moving Spotlight Theory.Daniel Deasy - 2015 - Philosophical Studies 172 (8):2073-2089.
    The aim of this paper is to describe and defend the moving spotlight theory of time. I characterise the moving spotlight theory as the conjunction of two theses: permanentism, the thesis that everything exists forever, and the A-theory, the thesis that there is an absolute, objective present time. I begin in Sect. 2 by clearing up some common misconceptions about the moving spotlight theory, focusing on the discussion of the theory in Sider. In doing so, I also fill-out the barebones (...)
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  21. Presentism and the Experience of Time.Mauro Dorato - 2015 - Topoi 34 (1):265-275.
    Presentists have typically argued that the Block View is incapable of explaining our experience of time. In this paper I argue that the phenomenology of our experience of time is, on the contrary, against presentism. My argument is based on a dilemma: presentists must either assume that the metaphysical present has no temporal extension, or that it is temporally extended. The former horn leads to phenomenological problems. The latter renders presentism metaphysically incoherent, unless one posits a discrete present that, however, (...)
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  22. Presentism and the Myth of Passage.Lisa Leininger - 2015 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 93 (4):724-739.
    Presentism is held by most to be the intuitive theory of time, due in large part to the view's supposed preservation of time's passage. In this paper, I strike a blow against presentism's intuitive pull by showing how the presentist, contrary to overwhelming popular belief, is unable to establish temporal change upon which the passage of time is based. I begin by arguing that the presentist's two central ontological commitments, the Present Thesis and the Change Thesis, are incompatible. The main (...)
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  23.  13
    I S.Steven F. Savitt - 2015 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part B: Studies in History and Philosophy of Modern Physics 50:19-24.
    Richard Arthur and I proposed that the present in Minkowski spacetime should be thought of as a small causal diamond. That is, given two timelike separated events p and q, with p earlier than q, they suggested that the present is the set I+ ∩ I-. Mauro Dorato presents three criticisms of this proposal. I rebut all three and then offer two more plausible criticisms of the Arthur/Savitt proposal. I argue that these criticisms also fail.
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  24.  16
    Temporal Naturalism.Lee Smolin - 2015 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part B: Studies in History and Philosophy of Modern Physics 52 (Part A):86-102.
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  25.  32
    Introduction: Time and Time Experience.Giuliano Torrengo & Roberto Ciuni - 2015 - Topoi 34 (1):133-136.
    Temporal aspects dwell both in the world around us and at the core of our experience of it. Reality, thought, and language all seem to be imbibed in temporality at some level or another. It is thus not surprising that philosophers who have to face the problems of understanding time have resorted to tools from different spheres of investigation, and often at the points of overlap of these areas. Metaphysics, philosophy of physics and science in general, philosophy of language, phenomenology, (...)
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  26. Anti‐Metaphysicalism, Necessity, and Temporal Ontology.Mark Balaguer - 2014 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 89 (1):145-167.
    This paper argues for a certain kind of anti-metaphysicalism about the temporal ontology debate, i.e., the debate between presentists and eternalists over the existence of past and future objects. Three different kinds of anti-metaphysicalism are defined—namely, non-factualism, physical-empiricism, and trivialism. The paper argues for the disjunction of these three views. It is then argued that trivialism is false, so that either non-factualism or physical-empiricism is true. Finally, the paper ends with a discussion of whether we should endorse non-factualism or physical-empiricism. (...)
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  27. The Priority of the Now.Sam Baron - 2014 - Pacific Philosophical Quarterly:0-0.
    This paper motivates and develops a new theory of time: priority presentism. Priority presentism is the view according to which (i) only present entities exist fundamentally and (ii) past and future entities exist, but they are grounded in the present. The articulation of priority presentism is an exercise in applied grounding: it draws on concepts from the recent literature on ontological dependence and applies those concepts in a new way, to the philosophy of time. The result, as I will argue, (...)
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  28. Metaphysics of Time in Spacetime.Claudio Calosi - 2014 - Thought: A Journal of Philosophy 3 (1):1-8.
    I give a new and more general argument against presentism within relativistic spacetimes. This argument is untouched by different recent proposals designed to save presentism in a relativistic setting.
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  29.  87
    Presentism Meets Black Holes.Gustavo E. Romero & Daniela Pérez - 2014 - European Journal for Philosophy of Science 4 (3):293-308.
    Presentism is, roughly, the metaphysical doctrine that maintains that whatever exists, exists in the present. The compatibility of presentism with the theories of special and general relativity was much debated in recent years. It has been argued that at least some versions of presentism are consistent with time-orientable models of general relativity. In this paper we confront the thesis of presentism with relativistic physics, in the strong gravitational limit where black holes are formed. We conclude that the presentist position is (...)
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  30. Tensed Supervenience: A No‐Go for Presentism.Sam Baron - 2013 - Southern Journal of Philosophy 51 (3):383-401.
    Recent attempts to resolve the truthmaker objection to presentism employ a fundamentally tensed account of the relationship between truth and being. On this view, the truth of a proposition concerning the past supervenes on how things are, in the present, along with how things were, in the past. This tensed approach to truthmaking arises in response to pressure placed on presentists to abandon the standard response to the truthmaker objection, whereby one invokes presently existing entities as the supervenience base for (...)
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  31. Relativity, the Open Future, and the Passage of Time.Oliver Pooley - 2013 - Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society 113 (3pt3):321-363.
    Is the objective passage of time compatible with relativistic physics? There are two easy routes to an affirmative answer: (1) provide a deflationary analysis of passage compatible with the block universe, or (2) argue that a privileged global present is compatible with relativity. (1) does not take passage seriously. (2) does not take relativity seriously. This paper is concerned with the viability of views that seek to take both passage and relativity seriously. The investigation proceeds by considering how traditional A-theoretic (...)
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  32. Presentism and Causation Revisited.Sam Baron - 2012 - Philosophical Papers 41 (1):1-21.
    One of the major difficulties facing presentism is the problem of causation. In this paper, I propose a new solution to that problem, one that is compatible with intrinsic, fundamental causal relations. Accommodating relations of this kind is important because (i) according to David Lewis (2004), such relations are needed to account for causation in our world and worlds relevantly similar to our own, (ii) there is no other strategy currently available that successfully reconciles presentism with relations of this kind (...)
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  33.  92
    Presentism as an Empirical Hypothesis.Katherine Brading - unknown
    Within philosophy of physics it is broadly accepted that presentism as an empirical hypothesis has been falsified by the development of special relativity. In this paper, I identify and reject an assumption common to both presentists and advocates of the block universe, and then offer an alternative version of presentism that does not begin from spatiotemporal structure, which is an empirical hypothesis, and which has yet to be falsified. I fear that labelling it “presentism” dooms the view, but I don’t (...)
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  34.  46
    Twins' Paradox and Closed Timelike Curves: The Role of Proper Time and the Presentist View on Spacetime. [REVIEW]Cord Friebe - 2012 - Journal for General Philosophy of Science / Zeitschrift für Allgemeine Wissenschaftstheorie 43 (2):313-326.
    Relativity allegedly contradicts presentism, the dynamic view of time and reality, according to which temporal passage is conceived of as an existentially distinguished ‘moving’ now. Against this common belief, the paper motivates a presentist interpretation of spacetime: It is argued that the fundamental concept of time—proper time—cannot be characterized by the earlier-later relation, i.e., not in the B-theoretical sense. Only the presentist can provide a temporal understanding of the twins’ paradox and of universes with closed timelike curves.
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  35.  30
    Parmenides Reloaded.Gustavo E. Romero - 2012 - Foundations of Science 17 (3):291-299.
    I argue for a four dimensional, non-dynamical view of space-time, where becoming is not an intrinsic property of reality. This view has many features in common with the Parmenidean conception of the universe. I discuss some recent objections to this position and I offer a comparison of the Parmenidean space-time with an interpretation of Heraclitus’ thought that presents no major antagonism.
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  36. How the Dead Live.Niall Connolly - 2011 - Philosophia 39 (1):83-103.
    This paper maintains (following Yougrau 1987; 2000 and Hinchliff 1996) that the dead and other former existents count as examples of non-existent objects. If the dead number among the things there are, a further question arises: what is it to be dead—how should the state of being dead be characterised? It is argued that this state should be characterised negatively: the dead are not persons, philosophers etc. They lack any of the (intrinsic) qualities they had while they lived. The only (...)
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  37. Tim Maudlin * The Metaphysics Within Physics. [REVIEW]Alyssa Ney - 2011 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 62 (3):683-689.
  38. The View From Nowhen: The Mctaggart-Dummett Argument for the Unreality of Time.Kevin Falvey - 2010 - Philosophia 38 (2):297-312.
    Years ago, Michael Dummett defended McTaggart’s argument for the unreality of time, arguing that it cannot be dismissed as guilty of an “indexical fallacy.” Recently, E. J. Lowe has disputed Dummett’s claims for the cogency of the argument. I offer an elaboration and defense of Dummett’s interpretation of the argument (though not of its soundness). I bring to bear some work on tense from the philosophy of language, and some recent work on the concept of the past as it occurs (...)
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  39. Contingentism in Metaphysics.Kristie Miller - 2010 - Philosophy Compass 5 (11):965-977.
    In a lot of domains in metaphysics the tacit assumption has been that whichever metaphysical principles turn out to be true, these will be necessarily true. Let us call necessitarianism about some domain the thesis that the right metaphysics of that domain is necessary. Necessitarianism has flourished. This paper considers why this is so and considers domains in which contingentism has been defended.
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  40. Gödel and Philosophical Idealism.Charles Parsons - 2010 - Philosophia Mathematica 18 (2):166-192.
    Kurt Gödel made many affirmations of robust realism but also showed serious engagement with the idealist tradition, especially with Leibniz, Kant, and Husserl. The root of this apparently paradoxical attitude is his conviction of the power of reason. The paper explores the question of how Gödel read Kant. His argument that relativity theory supports the idea of the ideality of time is discussed critically, in particular attempting to explain the assertion that science can go beyond the appearances and ‘approach the (...)
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  41.  79
    4-D Objects and Disposition Ascriptions.Tobias Hansson Wahlberg - 2009 - Philosophical Papers 38 (1):35-72.
    Disposition ascription has been discussed a good deal over the last few decades, as has the revisionary metaphysical view of ordinary, persisting objects known as 'fourdimensionalism'. However, philosophers have not merged these topics and asked whether four-dimensional objects can be proper subjects of dispositional predicates. This paper seeks to remedy this oversight. It argues that, by and large, four-dimensional objects are not suited to take dispositional predicates.
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  42.  16
    Conditions May Apply.Paul Dicken - 2008 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 39 (2):290-293.
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  43. Reassessing the Prospects for a Growing Block Model of the Universe.John Earman - 2008 - International Studies in the Philosophy of Science 22 (2):135 – 164.
    Although C. D. Broad's notion of Becoming has received a fair amount of attention in the philosophy-of-time literature, there are no serious attempts to show how to replace the standard 'block' spacetime models by models that are more congenial to Broad's idea that the sum total of existence is continuously increased by Becoming or the coming into existence of events. In the Newtonian setting Broad-type models can be constructed in a cheating fashion by starting with a Newtonian block model, carving (...)
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  44. Special Relativity and the Future: A Defense of the Point Present.James Harrington - 2008 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part B: Studies in History and Philosophy of Modern Physics 39 (1):82-101.
    In this paper, I defend a theory of local temporality, sometimes referred to as a point-present theory. This theory has the great advantage that it allows for the possibility of an open future without requiring any alterations to our standard understanding of special relativity. Such theories, however, have regularly been rejected out of hand as metaphysically incoherent. After surveying the debate, I argue that such a transformation of temporal concepts (i) is suggested by the indexical semantics of tense in a (...)
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  45. What is It to “B” a Relation?Jonathan Tallant - 2008 - Synthese 162 (1):117-132.
    The purpose of this paper is two fold: first, I look to show Oaklander’s (The ontology of time. New York: Prometheus Books, 2004) theory of time to be false. Second, I show that the only way to salvage the B-theory is via the adopting of the causal theory of time, and allying this to Oaklander’s claim that tense is to be eliminated. I then raise some concerns with the causal theory of time. My conclusion is that, if one adopts eternalism, (...)
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  46.  21
    Fooling Around with Tenses.Niko Strobach - 2007 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part B: Studies in History and Philosophy of Modern Physics 38 (3):653-672.
  47.  4
    Fooling Around with Tenses.Niko Strobach - 2007 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part B: Studies in History and Philosophy of Modern Physics 38 (3):653-672.
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  48.  52
    Absolute Becoming, Relational Becoming and the Arrow of Time: Some Non-Conventional Remarks on the Relationship Between Physics and Metaphysics.Mauro Dorato - 2006 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part B: Studies in History and Philosophy of Modern Physics 37 (3):559-576.
  49. Science as a Guide to Metaphysics?Katherine Hawley - 2006 - Synthese 149 (3):451-470.
    Analytic metaphysics is in resurgence; there is renewed and vigorous interest in topics such as time, causation, persistence, parthood and possible worlds. We who share this interest often pay lip-service to the idea that metaphysics should be informed by modern science; some take this duty very seriously.2 But there is also a widespread suspicion that science cannot really contribute to metaphysics, and that scientific findings grossly underdetermine metaphysical claims. For some, this prompts the thought ‘so much the worse for metaphysics’; (...)
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  50. A Tenseless Account of the Presence of Experience.J. M. Mozersky - 2006 - Philosophical Studies 129 (3):441-476.
    Tenseless theories of time entail that the only temporal properties exemplified by events are earlier than, simultaneous with, and later than. Such an account seems to conflict with our common experience of time, which suggests that the present moment is ontologically unique and that time flows. Some have argued that only a tensed account of time, one in which past, present and future are objective properties, can do justice to our experience. Any theory that claims that the world is different (...)
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