Dissertation, University College London (2016)

Authors
Mekhi Dhesi
University College London
Abstract
In light of the Special Theory of Relativity and the Minkowski creation of ‘spacetime’, the universe is taken to be a four-dimensional entity which postulates bodies as existing within a temporally extended reality. The Special Theory of Relativity’s implications liken the nature of the universe to a ‘block’ within which all events coexist equally in spacetime. Such a view strikes against the very essence of presentism, which holds that all that exists is the instantaneous state of objects in the present moment. With respect to the present moment, events have a clear division into the past or future, however such regions do not exist in reality and the universe is a three-dimensional entity. The consequences of a four-dimensional universe are disturbing to say the least for our everyday human experience, with once objective facts about reality becoming dependent upon an observer’s relative motion and the debate over the extent of true free will in a Block Universe. This paper will look at arguments which seek to rescue the presentist view in light of Special Relativity so such four-dimensionalist implications do not have to be accepted. Two approaches will be considered. The first accepts that presentism is incompatible with Special Relativity, and seeks to show that the theory is ultimately false. The second holds that it is the Block Universe interpretation of Special Relativity that is wrong, and a version of presentism can be reconciled with Special Relativity. The paper will expound and critically examine both of these approaches to review whether the case for the three-dimensionalist and a fundamental passage of time can be made.
Keywords Special Relativity  Presentism  Eternalism  Block Universe  Four Dimensional  Time  Theory of Relativity  Passage of Time  Now  Spacetime
Categories (categorize this paper)
Options
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Request removal from index
Revision history

Download options

PhilArchive copy

 PhilArchive page | Other versions
External links

Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
Through your library

References found in this work BETA

A Confutation of Convergent Realism.Larry Laudan - 1981 - Philosophy of Science 48 (1):19-49.
A Confutation of Convergent Realism.Larry Laudan - 1980 - In Yuri Balashov & Alexander Rosenberg (eds.), Philosophy of Science: Contemporary Readings. Routledge. pp. 211.
The Puzzle of Change.Mark Hinchliff - 1996 - Philosophical Perspectives 10:119-136.

View all 32 references / Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

No citations found.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles

Are Probabilism and Special Relativity Compatible?Nicholas Maxwell - 1988 - Philosophy of Science 55 (4):640-645.
Time in Classical and Relativistic Physics.Gordon Belot - 2013 - In Adrian Bardon & Heather Dyke (eds.), A Companion to the Philosophy of Time. Blackwell. pp. 185-200.
Presentism Meets Black Holes.Gustavo E. Romero & Daniela Pérez - 2014 - European Journal for Philosophy of Science 4 (3):293-308.
Objective Becoming.Bradford Skow - 2015 - Oxford University Press UK.
Presentism and Relativity. [REVIEW]Yuri Balashov & Michel Janssen - 2003 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 54 (2):327-346.
Special Relativity and the Flow of Time.D. Dieks - 1988 - Philosophy of Science 55 (3):456-460.

Analytics

Added to PP index
2016-12-03

Total views
995 ( #3,800 of 2,348,315 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
66 ( #9,042 of 2,348,315 )

How can I increase my downloads?

Downloads

My notes