This chapter explores some of the relations between Quine’s and Carnap’s metaontological stances on the one hand, and contemporary work in the metaphysics of time, on the other. Contemporary metaphysics of time, like analytic metaphysics in general, grew out of the revival of the discipline that Quine’s critique of the logical empiricists (such as Carnap) made possible. At the same time, the metaphysics of time has, in some respects, strayed far from its Quinean roots. This chapter examines some likely Quinean (...) and Carnapian reactions to elements of the contemporary scene. (shrink)
Does time seem to us to pass, even though it doesn’t, really? Many philosophers think the answer is ‘Yes’ – at least when ‘time’s (really) passing’ is understood in a particular way. They take time’s passing to be a process by which each time in turn acquires a special status, such as the status of being the only time that exists, or being the only time that is present (where that means more than just being simultaneous with oneself). This chapter (...) suggests that on the contrary, all we perceive is temporal succession, one thing after another, a notion to which modern physics is not inhospitable. The contents of perception are best described in terms of ‘before’ and ‘after’, rather than ‘past’, ‘present, and ‘future’. (shrink)
I offer an interpretation and a partial defense of Kit Fine's ‘Argument from Passage’, which is situated within his reconstruction of McTaggart's paradox. Fine argues that existing A-theoretic approaches to passage are no more dynamic, i.e. capture passage no better, than the B-theory. I argue that this comparative claim is correct. Our intuitive picture of passage, which inclines us towards A-theories, suggests more than coherent A-theories can deliver. In Finean terms, the picture requires not only Realism about tensed facts, but (...) also Neutrality, i.e. the tensed facts not being ‘oriented towards’ one privileged time. However unlike Fine, and unlike others who advance McTaggartian arguments, I take McTaggart's paradox to indicate neither the need for a more dynamic theory of passage nor that time does not pass. A more dynamic theory is not to be had: Fine's ‘non-standard realism’ amounts to no more than a conceptual gesture. But instead of concluding that time does not pass, we should conclude that theories of passage cannot deliver the dynamicity of our intuitive picture. For this reason, a B-theoretic account of passage that simply identifies passage with the succession of times is a serious contender. (shrink)
Metaphysics is the part of philosophy that asks questions about the nature of reality – about what there is, and what it is like. The metaphysics of time is the part of the philosophy of time that asks questions about the nature of temporal reality. One central such question is that of whether time passes or flows, or whether it has a dynamic aspect.
Some naturalists feel an affinity with some religions, or with a particular religion. They may have previously belonged to it, and/or been raised in it, and/or be close to people who belong to it, and/or simply feel attracted to its practices, texts and traditions. This raises the question of whether and to what extent a naturalist can lead the life of a religious believer. The sparse literature on this topic focuses on religious fictionalism. I also frame the debate in these (...) terms. I ask what religious fictionalism might amount to, reject some possible versions of it and endorse a different one. I then examine the existing proposals, by Robin Le Poidevin, Peter Lipton, Andrew Eshleman and Howard Wettstein, and show that even on my version of religious fictionalism, much of what has been described by these authors is still possible. (shrink)
Famous examples of conceivability arguments include (i) Descartes’ argument for mind-body dualism, (ii) Kripke's ‘modal argument’ against psychophysical identity theory, (iii) Chalmers’ ‘zombie argument’ against materialism, and (iv) modal versions of the ontological argument for theism. In this paper, we show that for any such conceivability argument, C, there is a corresponding ‘mirror argument’, M. M is deductively valid and has a conclusion that contradicts C's conclusion. Hence, a proponent of C—henceforth, a ‘conceivabilist’—can be warranted in holding that C's premises (...) are conjointly true only if she can find fault with one of M's premises. But M's premises are modelled on a pair of C's premises. The same reasoning that supports the latter supports the former. For this reason, a conceivabilist can repudiate M's premises only on pain of severely undermining C's premises. We conclude on this basis that all conceivability arguments, including each of (i)–(iv), are fallacious. (shrink)
Elsewhere I have suggested that the B-theory includes a notion of passage, by virtue of including succession. Here, I provide further support for that claim by showing that uncontroversial elements of the B-theory straightforwardly ground a veridical sense of passage. First, I argue that the B-theory predicts that subjects of experience have a sense of passivity with respect to time that they do not have with respect to space, which they are right to have, even according to the B-theory. I (...) then ask what else might be involved in our experience of time as passing that is not yet vindicated by the B-theoretic conception. I examine a recent B-theoretic explanation of our ‘illusory’ sense of passage, by Robin Le Poidevin, and argue that it explains away too much: our perception of succession poses no more of a problem on the B-theory than it does on other theories of time. Finally, I respond to an objection by Oreste Fiocco that a causal account of our sense of passage cannot succeed, because it leaves out the ‘phenomenological novelty’ of each moment. (shrink)
In his recent book ‘Experiencing time’, Simon Prosser discusses a wide variety of topics relating to temporal experience, in a way that is accessible both to those steeped in the philosophy of mind, and to those more familiar with the philosophy of time. He forcefully argues for the conclusion that the B-theorist of time can account for the temporal appearances. In this article, I offer a chapter by chapter response.
This article relates the philosophical discussion on naturalistic religious practice to Tim Crane’s The Meaning of Belief: Religion from an Atheist’s Point of View, in which he claims that atheists can derive no genuine solace from religion. I argue that Crane’s claim is a little too strong. There is a sense in which atheists can derive solace from religion and that fact is worth acknowledging (whether or not this counts as ‘genuine’ solace).
Usually, the B-theory of time is taken to involve the claim that time does not, in reality, pass; after all, on the B-theory, nothing really becomes present and then more and more past, times do not come into existence successively, and which facts obtain does not change. For this reason, many B-theorists have recently tried to explain away one or more aspect(s) of experience that they and their opponents take to constitute an experience of time as passing. In this paper, (...) I examine three prominent proposals of this kind and argue that, though intriguing, the proposals undermine, to some extent, the assumption that there is an element of experience that B-theorists need to take to be illusory. (shrink)
This entry provides an overview of some key positions on God and time and discusses arguments for and against divine timelessness. The final section outlines some other philosophical contexts in which the concept of eternity can play a role.
Temporal ontology is the part of ontology involving the rival positions of presentism, eternalism, and the growing block theory. While this much is clear, it’s surprisingly difficult to elucidate the substance of the disagreement between presentists and eternalists. Certain events happened that are not happening now; what is it to disagree about whether these events exist? In spite of widespread suspicion concerning the status and methods of analytic metaphysics, skeptics’ doubts about this debate have not generally been heeded, neither by (...) metaphysicians, nor by philosophers of physics. This paper revisits the question in the light of prominent elucidation attempts from both camps. The upshot is that skeptics were right to be puzzled. The paper then explores a possible re-interpretation of positions in temporal ontology that links it to normative views about how we should live as temporal beings. (shrink)
The response of consumers to a firm’s ethical behavior and the underlying factors influencing/forming each consumer’s response outcome is analyzed in this article based on information obtained through interviews. The results indicate that, in the Chinese context, the responding outcome can be boiled down to five types, namely, resistance, questioning, indifference, praise, and support. Additionally, consumers’ responses were mainly influenced by the specific consumer’s ethical consciousness, ethical cognitive effort, perception of ethical justice, motivation judgment, institutional rationality, and corporate social responsibility–corporate (...) ability (CSR–CA) belief. Based on these results, a generalized framework of consumer’s ethical responses is developed which provides a number of insightful suggestions upon how to motivate a consumer’s support of a firm’s ethical behavior and to transfer this kind of support into truly positive purchasing behavior. (shrink)
This study aims to explore the role of informal leader–member interactions in managing counterproductive work behavior in a non-Western context. We propose that under the Chinese background, guanxi with supervisor increases employees’ job satisfaction, which further reduces their CWB. Partial least square structural equation modeling with a sample of 272 Chinese employees confirms this mediating effect of job satisfaction. However, we also find that job satisfaction passes the effect of guanxi with supervisor on to CWB targeting people, but not to (...) CWB targeting the organization. Implications for research on CWB and guanxi with supervisor are discussed. (shrink)
This article is an evaluation of Le Poidevin’s use of Carnap ’s stance on ontology within the philosophy of religion. Le Poidevin claims that 1) theists need to take God to be a putative entity within space-time in order for their claim that God exists to be meaningful, and that 2) instrumentalism about theology is viable. I argue that although Le Poidevin’s response to Carnap ’s argument is no less problematic than that argument itself, his position is in fact thoroughly (...) un-Carnapian. The upshot is that his discussion provides some support to atheism, but none to either of his two official conclusions. (shrink)
In order to explore the mechanism of consumer responses to corporate social responsibility, this paper constructs a research framework including CSR, consumer–company identification, consumer responses, and fit, and tests the framework using a scene-questionnaire survey. Empirical results demonstrate that CSR not only has positive influence on consumer purchase intention, recommend intention, and loyalty directly, but also has indirect positive influence on consumer purchase intention and recommend intention through CCI. The influencing process of CSR on CCI is moderated by fit and (...) the moderating direction is different owing to product types. For the products whose association preference is positive, fit can positively moderate the relationship between CSR and CCI, while for products whose association preference is negative, the moderating role will be negative. (shrink)
In this paper, I try to make sense of the growing block view using Kit Fine’s three-fold classification of A-theoretic views of time. I begin by motivating the endeavor of making sense of the growing block view by examining John Earman’s project in ‘Reassessing the prospects for a growing block model of the universe’. Next, I review Fine’s reconstruction of McTaggart’s argument and its accompanying three-fold classification of A-theoretic views. I then consider three interpretations of Earman’s growing block model: the (...) hybrid growing block, the purely tensed growing block, and Michael Tooley’s growing block. I argue for three claims. First, Finean ‘standard’ versions of these views are less congenial to the growing blocker than ‘non-standard’ ones. Second, the hybrid view is problematic on either version. And third, ‘non-standard’ versions are not fully intelligible. I provide further support for the first and third of these claims and explain why I take them to support a minimal account of passage as succession, which undercuts some of the motivation for Earman’s project. Lastly, I answer three objections. (shrink)
What, if anything, makes death bad for the deceased themselves? Deprivationists hold that death is bad for the deceased iff it deprives them of intrinsic goods they would have enjoyed had they lived longer. This view faces the problem that birth too seems to deprive one of goods one would have enjoyed had one been born earlier, so that it too should be bad for one. There are two main approaches to the problem. In this paper, I explore the second (...) approach, by Anthony Brueckner and John Martin Fischer, and suggest that it can be developed so as to meet deprivationists’ needs. On the resulting view, metaphysical differences between the future and the past give rise to a corresponding axiological difference in the intrinsic value of future and past experiences. As experiences move into the past, they lose their intrinsic value for the person. (shrink)
In this paper I revisit a dispute between Mikel Burley and Robin Le Poidevin about whether or not the B-theory of time can give its adherents any reason to be less afraid of death. In ‘Should a B-theoretic atheist fear death?’, Burley argues that even on Le Poidevin’s understanding of the B-theory, atheists shouldn’t be comforted. His reason is that the prevalent B-theoretic account of our attitudes towards the past and future precludes treating our fear of death as unwarranted. I (...) examine his argument and provide a tentative defense of Le Poidevin. I claim that while Burley rightly spots a tension with a non-revisionary approach to our ordinary emotional life, he doesn’t isolate the source of that tension. The real question is how to understand Le Poidevin’s idea that on the B-theory, we and our lives are ‘eternally real’. I then suggest that there is a view of time that does justice to Le Poidevin’s remarks, albeit a strange one. The view takes temporal relations to be quasi-spatial and temporal entities to exist in a totum simul. (shrink)
This article is a response to Clifford Williams’s claim that the debate between A- and B theories of time is misconceived because these theories do not differ. I provide some missing support for Williams’s claim that the B-theory includes transition, by arguing that representative B-theoretic explanations for why we experience time as passing (even though it does not) are inherently unstable. I then argue that, contra Williams, it does not follow that there is nothing at stake in the A- versus (...) B debate. (shrink)
We offer a new answer to the paradox of tragedy. We explain part of the appeal of tragic art in terms of its acknowledgement of sad aspects of life and offer a tentative explanation of why acknowledgement is a source of pleasure.
Tax haven investment has become an increasingly important topic in business ethics. Given the considerable tax haven investments from emerging market firms, understanding how home-country institutions shape their investments in tax havens is theoretically intriguing and practically crucial. By integrating resource dependence and institutional theories, we hypothesize the existence of a negative relationship between firms’ home-country political status and tax haven investment. State-owned enterprises controlled by the central government dominate the political hierarchy. Compared with other types of enterprises, central SOEs (...) receive the strongest institutional support and are the most prone to institutional oversight, thereby exhibiting the weakest tendency to invest in tax havens. This top group is followed by SOEs controlled by local governments, politically connected private firms, and private firms without political connections. These groups exhibit an increasing tendency to invest in overseas tax havens. The empirical analysis of Chinese listed firms during 2003–2013 supports our hypotheses. This research contributes to the business ethics literature by identifying institutional drivers of overseas tax haven investment by emerging market firms, thereby adding to the ethical debate on international tax avoidance. (shrink)