Symmetric and asymmetric theories of time

Synthese 199 (5-6):14403-14426 (2021)
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There is a feeling of dissatisfaction with the traditional way of defining the A-theories of time. One reason is that these definitions rest on an ontological question—‘Do the future and the past exist?’—to which no non-speculative answer can be provided. Another reason is that these definitions fail to distinguish between various A-theories of time at all times and, therefore, cannot be regarded as essential to them. In the present paper, I make a fresh start in the debate, by introducing two questions whose specific answers allow one to get a comprehensive categorization of the A-theories of time. This alternative way of defining the A-theories of time addresses the two above-mentioned issues and reveals the metaphysical singularity of underrated theories, such as the growing block theory.



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Vincent Grandjean
Oxford University

Citations of this work

The Bare Past.Vincent Grandjean - forthcoming - Philosophia:1-28.

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References found in this work

Word and Object.Willard Van Orman Quine - 1960 - Cambridge, MA, USA: MIT Press.
Modal Logic as Metaphysics.Timothy Williamson - 2013 - Oxford, England: Oxford University Press.
The Metaphysics Within Physics.Tim Maudlin - 2007 - Oxford University Press.
Vagueness.Timothy Williamson - 1994 - London and New York: Routledge.

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