Inconsistency in the A-Theory

Philosophical Studies 156 (2):231 - 247 (2011)
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Abstract

This paper presents a new argument against A-theories of time. A-theorists hold that there is an objective now (present moment) and an objective flow of time, the latter constituted by the movement of the objective now through time. A-theorists therefore want to draw different pictures of reality—showing the objective now in different positions—depending upon the time at which the picture is drawn. In this paper it is argued that the times at which the different pictures are drawn may be taken to be normal times or hypertimes. If they are normal times then the A-theory is inconsistent, or else collapses to the B-theory—and appealing to primitive tense operators will not help A-theorists avoid this conclusion. If the times are hypertimes then the A-theory is consistent, but deeply problematic none the less

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Nicholas J. J. Smith
University of Sydney

Citations of this work

The Moving Spotlight Theory.Daniel Deasy - 2015 - Philosophical Studies 172 (8):2073-2089.
Presentism and the Myth of Passage.Lisa Leininger - 2015 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 93 (4):724-739.
The Priority of the Now.Sam Baron - 2014 - Pacific Philosophical Quarterly:0-0.
Philosophical Arguments Against the A-Theory.Daniel Deasy - 2018 - Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 99 (2):270-292.
The Unique Groundability of Temporal Facts.John Cusbert & Kristie Millier - 2017 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 94 (1).

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References found in this work

The Metaphysics Within Physics.Tim Maudlin - 2007 - Oxford University Press.
The Unreality of Time.John Ellis McTaggart - 1908 - Mind 17 (68):457-474.
Four Dimensionalism: An Ontology of Persistence and Time.Theodore Sider - 2004 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 68 (3):642-647.
Real Time Ii.D. H. Mellor - 1998 - Routledge.

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