Putnam on Time and Special Relativity: A Long Journey from Ontology to Ethics

Mauro Dorato
Università degli Studi Roma Tre
1.: In this paper I discuss Putnam’s view on time and the special theory of relativity. I first locate Putnam’s philosophical approach within a more general framework, essentially making reference to Sellar’s distinction between the scientific image and the manifest image of the world. I then reconstruct Putnam’s argument in favour of the reality of the future and the determinateness of truth-value for future tense sentences by showing that it is based on three premises that generate a contradiction. In the second part of the paper I discuss Putnam’s argument both by using later results belonging to the foundations of STR and quantum mechanics, and by invoking some conceptual analysis on the pseudo-predicate “is real”. Since I will show that the presentists/eternalists debate is ill-founded if regarded as ontological, I will conclude that it boils down to our different practical attitudes towards past, present and future
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References found in this work BETA

Holism and Structuralism in Classical and Quantum General Relativity.Mauro Dorato & Massimo Pauri - 2006 - In Dean Rickles, Steven French & Juha Saatsi (eds.), The Structural Foundations of Quantum Gravity. Oxford: Oxford University Press. pp. 121-151.
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.

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Citations of this work BETA

A Locus for “Now”.Tomasz Placek - 2010 - In Dennis Dieks, Wenceslao Gonzalo, Thomas Uebel, Stephan Hartmann & Marcel Weber (eds.), Explanation, Prediction, and Confirmation. Springer. pp. 395--410.
Explicating Eternalism A Study in Metaontology.Thorben Petersen - 2012 - Philosophia Naturalis 49 (1):137-161.

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