Philosophical Studies 176 (7):1807-1829 (2019)

Authors
David Braddon-Mitchell
University of Sydney
Kristie Miller
University of Sydney
Abstract
A number of recent theories of quantum gravity lack a one-dimensional structure of ordered temporal instants. Instead, according to many of these views, our world is either best represented as a single three-dimensional object, or as a configuration space composed of such three-dimensional objects, none of which bear temporal relations to one another. Such theories will be empirically self-refuting unless they can accommodate the existence of conscious beings capable of representation. For if representation itself is impossible in a timeless world, then no being in such a world could entertain the thought that a timeless theory is true, let alone believe such a theory or rationally believe it. This paper investigates the options for understanding representation in a three-dimensional, timeless, world. Ultimately it concludes that the only viable option is one according to which representation is taken to be deeply non-naturalistic. Ironically then we are left with two seemingly very unattractive options. Either a very naturalistic motivation—taking seriously a live view in fundamental physics—leads us to a very non-naturalistic view of the mental, or else views in the philosophy of mind partly dictate what is an acceptable theory in physics.
Keywords Time  Timeless  Timelessness  Content  Representation  Thought  Causation
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DOI 10.1007/s11098-018-1097-4
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References found in this work BETA

Causation.David Lewis - 1973 - Journal of Philosophy 70 (17):556-567.
Knowledge and the Flow of Information.F. Dretske - 1989 - Trans/Form/Ação 12:133-139.

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Citations of this work BETA

String Theory, Loop Quantum Gravity and Eternalism.Baptiste Le Bihan - 2020 - European Journal for Philosophy of Science 10:17.
The curious case of spacetime emergence.Sam Baron - 2019 - Philosophical Studies 177 (8):2207-2226.
Temporal Fictionalism for a Timeless World.Sam Baron, Kristie Miller & Jonathan Tallant - 2019 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research (2):281-301.
The Conceptual Impossibility of Free Will Error Theory.Andrew James Latham - 2019 - European Journal of Analytic Philosophy 15 (2):99-120.

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