What is it Like to Affect the Past?

Topoi 34 (1):195-199 (2015)

Rebecca Roache
Oxford University
Michael Dummett argued that, whilst we can imagine circumstances under which agents may rationally believe themselves capable of affecting the past, the attitude of such agents is bound to seem ‘paradoxical and unnatural to us’. Therefore, only agents very unlike us could intentionally affect the past. I argue that this is not the case. I outline circumstances in which the attitude of such agents is prudent, even by our own standards. Worlds in which backwards causation occurs could, then, contain agents very much like us
Keywords Michael Dummett  Agency  Backwards causation  Causation  Rationality
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DOI 10.1007/s11245-013-9196-5
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References found in this work BETA

Bringing About the Past.Michael Dummett - 1964 - Philosophical Review 73 (3):338-359.
Bilking the Bilking Argument.Rebecca Roache - 2009 - Analysis 69 (4):605-611.
The Impossibility of Backwards Causation.Hanoch Ben-Yami - 2007 - Philosophical Quarterly 57 (228):439–455.
Why Cannot an Effect Precede its Cause.Max Black - 1955 - Analysis 16 (3):49-58.
Can an Effect Precede Its Cause?A. E. Dummett & A. Flew - 1954 - Aristotelian Society Supplementary Volume 28:27-62.

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