Peter West
Durham University
In this paper, I provide the first in-depth discussion of Susan Stebbing’s views concerning our experience of the passage of time – a key issue for many metaphysicians writing in the first half of the twentieth century. I focus on Stebbing’s claims about the passage of time in Philosophy and the Physicists and her disagreement with Arthur Eddington over how best to account for that experience. I show that Stebbing’s concern is that any attempt to provide a scientific account of the passage of time will face problems, since the events described by physics are necessarily measured against the passage of time. I then identify views elsewhere in her philosophical corpus that can help shed light on this claim. Ultimately, I argue, Stebbing’s views on time should be construed as part of her wider commitment to ‘realism’. To be a realist, for Stebbing, is to accept a set of propositions which are a pre-requisite for even beginning to analyse the world around us. For Stebbing, I argue, part of what it means to be a realist is to accept our experience of the passage of time as something fundamental that cannot itself be subject to analysis.
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DOI 10.1080/09608788.2021.1985962
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References found in this work BETA

The Unreality of Time.John Ellis McTaggart - 1908 - Mind 17 (68):457-474.
Illusionism as a Theory of Consciousness.Keith Frankish - 2016 - Journal of Consciousness Studies 23 (11-12):11-39.
The Nature of the Physical World.A. Eddington - 1928 - Journal of Philosophical Studies 4 (14):252-255.
The Flow of Time.Huw Price - 2009 - In Craig Callender (ed.), The Oxford Handbook of Philosophy of Time. Oxford University Press.

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