String Theory, Loop Quantum Gravity and Eternalism

European Journal for Philosophy of Science 10:17 (2020)
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Abstract

Eternalism, the view that what we regard locally as being located in the past, the present and the future equally exists, is the best ontological account of temporal existence in line with special and general relativity. However, special and general relativity are not fundamental theories and several research programs aim at finding a more fundamental theory of quantum gravity weaving together all we know from relativistic physics and quantum physics. Interestingly, some of these approaches assert that time is not fundamental. If time is not fundamental, what does it entail for eternalism and the standard debate over existence in time? First, I will argue that the non-fundamentality of time to be found in string theory entails standard eternalism. Second, I will argue that the non-fundamentality of time to be found in loop quantum gravity entails atemporal eternalism, namely a novel position in the spirit of standard eternalism.

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Baptiste Le Bihan
University of Geneva

Citations of this work

Quantum Gravity and Mereology: Not So Simple.Sam Baron & Baptiste Le Bihan - 2022 - Philosophical Quarterly 72 (1):19-40.
Philosophy Beyond Spacetime: Introduction.Christian Wüthrich, Baptiste Le Bihan & Nick Huggett - 2021 - In Christian Wüthrich, Baptiste Le Bihan & Nick Huggett (eds.), Philosophy Beyond Spacetime: Implications From Quantum Gravity. Oxford: Oxford University Press. pp. 1-15.
Relational Passage of Time.Matias Slavov - 2022 - New York: Routledge.

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Scientific Thought.C. D. Broad - 1923 - Paterson, N.J.,: Routledge and Kegan Paul.

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