Time Travelers (and Everyone Else) Cannot Do Otherwise

Philosophies 9 (1):28 (2024)
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Abstract

Many defenders of the possibility of time travel into the past also hold that such time travel places no restrictions on what said time travelers can do. Some hold that it places at least a few restrictions on what time travelers can do. In attempting to resolve this dispute, I reached a contrary conclusion. Time travelers to the past cannot do other than what they in fact do. Using a very weak notion of can, I shall argue that the correspondingly strong cannot do otherwise applies in the case of backwards time travel. I defend this result from objections.

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G. C. Goddu
University of Richmond

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References found in this work

Time travel, coincidences, and counterfactuals.Theodore Sider - 2002 - Philosophical Studies 110 (2):115 - 138.
What time travelers cannot do.Kadri Vihvelin - 1996 - Philosophical Studies 81 (2-3):315 - 330.
A two-dimensional passage model of time for time travel.Jack W. Meiland - 1974 - Philosophical Studies 26 (3-4):153 - 173.
On some alleged paradoxes of time travel.Paul Horwich - 1975 - Journal of Philosophy 72 (14):432-444.

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