Turning the Tables on McTaggart

Philosophy (3):1-16 (2018)
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Abstract

According to A-theories of time, the metaphysical ground of change and dynamicity is provided by a continuous shifting in which events are past, present and future (A-determinations). It is often claimed that these theories make better sense of our experience of dynamicity than their rival, the B-theories; according to the latter, dynamicity is grounded solely in the irreducible earlier-than relations (B-relations) which obtain between events or states of affairs. In this paper, I argue that the experience of time's dynamicity, on the contrary, cannot be accounted for solely in terms of representations of irreducible A-determinations, because any representation which is adequate to ground these experiences must itself involve representation of irreducible B-relations, while it needs not involve representation of A-determinations. Even if, as a matter of contingent fact, our experiences of dynamicity consisted of representations of successions of A-determinations, what would account for them being experiences of dynamicity would be solely the B-theoretic relations of succession, rather than the irrelevant A-theoretic nature of the relata.

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Author's Profile

Emiliano Boccardi
Universidade Federal de Ouro Preto

References found in this work

Philosophical remarks.Ludwig Wittgenstein - 1975 - Chicago: University of Chicago Press. Edited by Rush Rhees.
Tense and reality.Kit Fine - 2005 - In Modality and Tense. Oxford University Press. pp. 261--320.

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