A Critical Introduction to the Metaphysics of Time by Benjamin L. Curtis, Jon Robson

By Benjamin L. Curtis, Jon Robson

What is the character of time? Does it circulation? Do the previous and destiny exist? Drawing connections among historic and present-day questions, A severe creation to the Metaphysics of Time presents an updated advisor to at least one of the main primary and debated issues in modern metaphysics.

Introducing the perspectives and arguments of Parmenides, Plato, Aristotle, Descartes, Newton and Leibniz, this obtainable advent covers the historical past of the philosophy of time from the Pre-Socratics to the start of the 20 th Century. The ancient survey provides the required historical past to figuring out more moderen advancements, together with McTaggart's 1908 argument for the unreality of time, the open destiny, the perdurance/endurance debate, the potential of time commute, and the relevance of present physics to the philosophy of time.

Informed by way of state-of-the-art philosophical examine, A severe creation to the Metaphysics of Time evaluates influential ancient arguments within the context of up to date advancements. for college students trying to achieve insights into how principles in the philosophy of time have constructed and higher comprehend fresh arguments, this can be the appropriate beginning point.

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Extra resources for A Critical Introduction to the Metaphysics of Time

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So true motion, according to Newton, should not be defined as Descartes defines it, but should instead be defined in terms of a change of velocity relative to absolute space. g. Huggett and Hoefer 2015). ) According to Newton, then, absolute space exists and pervades the entire universe. But what are the properties of absolute space? It can be thought of as an invisible three-dimensional grid, marked out by uniform units, across which material objects are spread. Newton explains in the Scholium as follows: Absolute space, in its own nature, without relation to anything external, remains always similar and immovable.

We will examine his argument in more detail shortly, but it is worth noting here that one might well react to it as follows: even if a theory has consequences that cannot be empirically tested, if that theory is the only one that explains the physical phenomena, we nevertheless have good reason to accept it. One might hold, that is, that even if Leibniz is right that Newton’s theory has untestable consequences, this is only a reason to abandon Newton’s theory if we have some other theory that works just as well as it.

Many scholastics make a distinction between what they call ‘tempus’ and ‘duratio’. The latter corresponds to the notion of duration itself, understood as a property that can be possessed by anything that exists. The former 24 A CRITICAL INTRODUCTION TO THE METAPHYSICS OF TIME corresponds to the notion of measured duration, that can be applied to things that change and whose existences can be split into temporal parts. God, for example, according to the scholastics and to Descartes, is a being who exists in an eternal and unchanging state, and whose existence therefore cannot be split into parts.

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