A Future for Presentism

A Future for Presentism

by Craig Bourne
     
 

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ISBN-10: 0199568219

ISBN-13: 9780199568215

Pub. Date: 08/17/2009

Publisher: Oxford University Press

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.

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.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780199568215
Publisher:
Oxford University Press
Publication date:
08/17/2009
Edition description:
New Edition
Pages:
256
Product dimensions:
5.40(w) x 8.40(h) x 0.60(d)

Table of Contents

Preface and Acknowledgements xi

Introduction 1

I What is a theory of time? 1

II Initial Plausible options for a theory of time 3

III What conditions must any adequate philosophical theory of time satisfy? 14

Part I The Presentist Manifesto 19

1 When am I? 21

I The Present Problem 21

II Tensed theories toppled 24

III Tensed truth-conditions: token-reflexive or non-token-reflexive, that's not the question 33

2 A theory of presentism 39

I The parameters of the problem 39

II A radical response 40

III Priorian presentism 41

IV Reductive presentism 47

V Ersatzer presentism 52

VI Branching time for presentists 61

VII The advantages of ersatzer presentism 65

3 Some outstanding problems for presentism met 70

Problem 1 McTaggart's argument 70

I McTaggart's position 71

II McTaggart's argument 73

III How ersatzer presentism avoids McTaggart's argument 76

Problem 2 A deontic, semantic, and paradoxical need for other times 78

I The deontic need 78

II The semantic need 79

III The paradoxical need 80

Problem 3 Future contingents, non-contradiction, and the law of excluded middle muddle 82

Problem 4 Transtemporal relations (I) 95

I Earlier than and defining tenses 96

II Determinables 98

III Qualitative relations 98

Problem 5 Transtemporal relations (II): reference 99

I Prior, proper names, and presentism 99

II Rigidity for Russellians 102

III Who wants to be a Millianaire? 103

IV Passing the nominal parcel 104

4 Transtemporal relations (III): causation 109

I Formulating theories of causation within presentism 110

II The direction of time and causation: the counterfactual connotation of causation 115

III Thedirection of time and causation: the means-end connotation of causation 121

IV Mellor's argument against causal loops 131

V Presentism and backwards causation 134

Part II Presentism and Relativity 137

5 Physics for philosophers 141

I Basic notions 141

II Essentials of special relativity 146

III Minkowski space-time diagrams 151

IV Minkowski's philosophical conclusions 157

6 The present dialectic in special relativity 160

I Putnam's thesis 160

II Stein's antithesis 162

III Questioning the grounds for adopting Einstein's definition of simultaneity 172

IV Understanding and defining absolute simultaneity 173

V The interpretation of the Lorentz transformations 176

VI The 'conspiracy of silence' objection 179

VII Simplicity and surplus content 182

VIII The Present Problem revisited 184

IX Conclusion 185

7 Becoming inflated 187

I The Mellor-Rees argument against tense theories 187

II Can expansion combat such wrinkles? 191

III Event and creation horizons 197

IV Bursting the balloon 198

8 All the time in the worlds: Gödel's modal moral 204

I Gödel's philosophical position on the nature of time 205

II Establishing part I of Gödel's argument 206

III Part 2 of Gödel's argument 212

IV Using TNT as ammunition against Gödel's conclusion 213

V Tenseless time: one way to dispose of TNT safely 214

VI The essential properties of time 216

VII Another way to dispose of TNT-although taking great care to do it safely 217

Bibliography 225

Index 239

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