Causation in a timeless world

Synthese 191 (12):2867-2886 (2014)
Sam Baron
University of Western Australia
Kristie Miller
University of Sydney
This paper offers a new way to evaluate counterfactual conditionals on the supposition that actually, there is no time. We then parlay this method of evaluation into a way of evaluating causal claims. Our primary aim is to preserve, at a minimum, the assertibility of certain counterfactual and causal claims once time has been excised from reality. This is an important first step in a more general reconstruction project that has two important components. First, recovering our ordinary language claims involving notions such as persistence, change and agency and, second, recovering enough observational evidence so that any timeless metaphysics is not empirically self-refuting. However, the project of investigating causation in a timeless setting has a greater relevance than its application to timeless physical theory alone. For, as we show, it can be used to model the assertibility conditions of causal claims more generally
Keywords Barbour  Timelessness  Causation  Quasi-causation  Counterfactuals  Time
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DOI 10.1007/s11229-014-0427-0
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References found in this work BETA

Causation.David Lewis - 1973 - Journal of Philosophy 70 (17):556-567.
The Unreality of Time.J. Ellis McTaggart - 1908 - Mind 17 (68):457-474.
Causality Without Counterfactuals.Wesley C. Salmon - 1994 - Philosophy of Science 61 (2):297-312.

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Citations of this work BETA

What is Temporal Error Theory?Samuel Baron & Kristie Miller - 2015 - Philosophical Studies 172 (9):2427-2444.
An Error in Temporal Error Theory.Jonathan Tallant - 2018 - Journal of the American Philosophical Association 4 (1):14-32.
Causation in a Timeless World?Jonathan Tallant - 2018 - Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy 62 (3):309-325.

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