A Future for Presentism

A Future for Presentism

by Craig Bourne
     
 

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ISBN-10: 0199212805

ISBN-13: 9780199212804

Pub. Date: 02/08/2007

Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA

Presentism, the view that only the present exists, was a much neglected position in the philosophy of time for a number of years. Recently, however, it has been enjoying a renaissance among philosophers. A Future for Presentism is meant as a timely contribution to this fast growing and exciting debate.

After discussing rival positions in the philosophy of time,

Overview

Presentism, the view that only the present exists, was a much neglected position in the philosophy of time for a number of years. Recently, however, it has been enjoying a renaissance among philosophers. A Future for Presentism is meant as a timely contribution to this fast growing and exciting debate.

After discussing rival positions in the philosophy of time, in Part I Craig Bourne shows how presentism is the only viable alternative to the tenseless theory of time. He then develops a distinctive version of presentism that avoids the mistakes of the past, and which sets up the framework for solving problems traditionally associated with the position, such as what makes past-tensed statements true, how to give the proper semantics for statements about the future, how to deal with transtemporal relations, how we can meaningfully talk about past individuals, and how causation can be accommodated. Part I concludes with a discussion of the direction of time and causation, the decision-theoretic problem known as 'Newcomb's problem', and the possibility of time travel and causal loops. In Part II Bourne focuses on the problems for presentism raised by relativity theory. He begins by giving a self-contained exposition of the concepts of special relativity that are important for understanding the later discussion of its philosophical implications. The last two chapters explores the philosophical implications of certain cosmological models that arise from general relativity, namely the expanding models, which seem to represent our universe, and Gödel's infamous model, which allows us to take a journey into our future and arrive in our past. The necessary physics is explained withthe aid of diagrams, throughout.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780199212804
Publisher:
Oxford University Press, USA
Publication date:
02/08/2007
Pages:
255
Product dimensions:
8.50(w) x 5.60(h) x 1.00(d)

Table of Contents

Introduction
Part I: Ontology, Epistemology and Semantics
1. When am I?
2. A Theory of presentism
3. Some outstanding problems for presentism met
4. Transtemporal relations (III): causation
Part II: Presentism and Relativity
5. Physics for philosophers
6. The present dialectic in special relativity
7. Becoming Inflated
8. All the time in the worlds: Gödel's modal moral

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