A Believable A-Theory


The A-theory of time is plagued by certain standard armchair problems: the presentism–eternalism dilemma, the problem of truth-makers, the alleged impossibility of cross-temporal relations, and the problem of temporary intrinsics. These challenges supposedly force A-theories to make incredible claims. I argue that these challenges are not deep antinomies in common sense, but rest on avoidable mistakes. Then I present a new A-theory that shows what’s possible once we move past the old problems. On this proposal, time’s passing is a metaphysically fundamental aspect of reality. I take this to mean that there are fundamental facts like: four hours passed from 8am today until noon. This A-theory also posits fundamental facts about the state of the universe at a time, and about cross-temporal relationships. The proposed metaphysical package attractively articulates our common sense, pre-relativistic conception of time.



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Alexander Jackson
Boise State University

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References found in this work

Writing the Book of the World.Theodore Sider - 2011 - Oxford, England: Oxford University Press.
On the Plurality of Worlds.David K. Lewis - 1986 - Malden, Mass.: Wiley-Blackwell.
Modal Logic as Metaphysics.Timothy Williamson - 2013 - Oxford, England: Oxford University Press.
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On what grounds what.Jonathan Schaffer - 2009 - In David Manley, David J. Chalmers & Ryan Wasserman (eds.), Metametaphysics: New Essays on the Foundations of Ontology. Oxford University Press. pp. 347-383.

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