Scielo RSS <![CDATA[Manuscrito]]> vol. 39 num. 4 lang. en <![CDATA[SciELO Logo]]> <![CDATA[Recent Trends in the Philosophy of Time: an Introduction to Time and Reality I]]> ABSTRACT This essay is an introduction to Time and Reality I, the first part of a special issue dedicated to the philosophy of time. Here I outline a number of new trends in philosophical theorizing about time, detailing how the various contributions fit into the picture. I argue that there has been a potentially misleading tendency to separate the debate over the passage of time from the debate over the reality of tense. This has obscured a number of interesting philosophical questions. One of the aims of this volume is to bring these two issues together, where they belong. I argue that many contributions to it go in the right direction. The contributions to this volume also establish uncharted philosophical junctures between Metaphysics, Aesthetics, Morality, and the Philosophy of Mind. <![CDATA[Temporal Passage and the 'no alternate possibilities' argument]]> ABSTRACT Dynamic theories of time typically commit to the claim that "time passes". In this paper I develop a version of the 'no alternate possibilities' argument in order to show that time does not pass, but that this is no threat to dynamic theories of time. <![CDATA[Tense, Perspectival Properties, and Special Relativity]]> ABSTRACT Tensism is the view that tense is not merely a property of language and the mind (narrowly individuated), but of the world itself. Perspectivalism extends this idea to all perspectival properties be they person (e.g. first person vs. second) or locational (e.g. here vs there). One challenge that perspectivalism faces is the problem of expressing the contents of the beliefs and utterances of persons that are in other perspectival positions. One proposed solution to this problem is to allow for semantic theories that "realign" the expression of contents so that the contents expressed by persons in other perspectival positions can be re-expressed from one's own perspectival position. In this paper I argue that a similar semantic realignment strategy could be deployed in helping perspectivalists generally (and presentists in particular) come to grips with a puzzle raised by the Special Theory of Relativity. In short, the strategy is to realign the expression of contents in another inertial frame so that they are expressed from within your inertial frame. As we will see, the strategy is not puzzle free. <![CDATA[Kit Fine on Tense and Reality]]> ABSTRACT Kit Fine (2005, 2006) recently described and defended a novel position in the philosophy of time, fragmentalism. It is not often that a new (and even perhaps a radically new) option appears in this old field, and for that reason alone these two essays merit serious attention. I will try to present briefly but fairly some of the considerations that Fine thinks favour fragmentalism. I will also weigh the merits of fragmentalism against the view that Fine presents as its chief rival, relativism, as well as the merits of both against the view that he calls anti-realism. Along the way, we should pick up a clearer picture of fragmentalism itself. <![CDATA[Presentism and the Sceptical Challenge]]> ABSTRACT Even hard-core metaphysicians should admit that certain disputes may indeed turn out not to be substantive. The debate between presentism and eternalism has recently come under sceptical attack. The aim of the paper is to argue that a certain approach to presentism is indeed in danger of succumbing to the sceptic, and thus a no-go for the presentist. <![CDATA[Common Sense, Ontology and Time: A Critique of Lynne Rudder Baker's View of Temporal Reality]]> ABSTRACT The aim of this paper is twofold: First, to critically discuss Lynne Rudder's Baker BA-theory of time, and second to contrast it with the R-theory (after Russell). In the course of my discussion I will contrast three different methodological approaches regarding the relation between common sense and ontology; clarify Russell's authentic view in contrast to the B-theory which is McTaggart's misrepresentation of Russell, and consider how the R-theory can respond to objections Baker makes to eternalism (as she understands it). <![CDATA[Time and Order]]> ABSTRACT An ontological analysis of time and of serial order is offered within the framework of a comprehensive ontology wherein the category of facts plays a crucial role. It is applied to distinguish them while various ways and contexts in which both have been mixed up in past and in present philosophy are discussed. The good reasons for that mix-up and the astonishing difficulty of keeping them apart are considered. The focus is more on the ontology of order than on the ontology of time. The latter is too wide a subject. It turns out that order has not really been grounded even in set theory. The ontology of serial order expounded is new. It is also needed for the adequate ontological analysis of relational facts. <![CDATA[Aspects and the Alteration of Temporal Simples]]> ABSTRACT According to David Lewis, alteration is "qualitative difference between temporal parts of something." It follows that moments, since they are simple and lack temporal parts, cannot alter from future to present to past. Here then is another way to put McTaggart's paradox about change in tense. I will appeal to my theory of Aspects to rebut the thought behind this rendition of McTaggart. On my theory, it is possible that qualitatively differing things be numerically identical. I call these differing, numerically identical things "aspects." I will argue that alteration can be a qualitative difference between temporal aspects of something that lacks temporal parts. So a moment can alter in tense. By rejecting Lewis's assumption my theory can solve this version of McTaggart's paradox. <![CDATA[Presentism, Passage, Phenomenology and Physicalism]]> ABSTRACT Temporal dynamists argue that we should believe that there exists temporal passage because there being passage is the best explanation for the presence of our temporal phenomenology. Presentists argue that presentism is the best (and perhaps only coherent) version of temporal dynamism. Therefore, conditional on us accepting temporal dynamism, we should accept presentism. In this paper it is argued that if we understand temporal passage as the presentist does, such an argument can succeed only if dualism is true. Thus, we conclude, either presentists should embrace dualism, or they should reject any argument for presentism that proceeds via any such argument for temporal passage that proceeds via considerations of what best explains our temporal phenomenology <![CDATA[Fatalism as a Metaphysical Thesis]]> ABSTRACT Even though fatalism has been an intermittent topic of philosophy since Greek antiquity, this paper argues that fate ought to be of little concern to metaphysicians. Fatalism is neither an interesting metaphysical thesis in its own right, nor can it be identified with theses that are, such as realism about the future or determinism. <![CDATA[On the Existential side of the Eternalism-Presentism Dispute]]> ABSTRACT The current analytical debate on time is full of attempts to adjudicate from a purely theoretical standpoint among competing temporal ontologies. Little attention has instead been devoted to the existential attitudes -- emotional or ethical -- that may lurk behind, or ensue from, the endorsement of one of them. Some interesting opinions have however been voiced regarding the two most prominent views in the arena, namely eternalism and presentism; it has been said that the former is nourished by a fear of death, or more generally by a desire of preservation for whatever we find precious and valuable, and that the latter is fuelled by a propensity to reap whatever fruits the present brings, as enshrined in the carpe diem motto. This paper explores such a territory by focusing on the reality of past sentience, whether joyful or painful, and on the open future. The first part contrasts the reality of past sentience that comes with eternalism with the denial of this reality that follows from presentism, and argues that from an emotional, or perhaps even moral, standpoint the latter is preferable to the former. The second part clarifies why the eternalist must renounce the open future, whereas presentism is consistent with it, and considers how its rejection or acceptance, as the case may be, could be emotionally, or even morally, significant for our conception of ourselves as free agents. The conclusion offers a tentative proposal regarding which temporal ontology is superior from an existential perspective and some ruminations on the impact that all this may have on the theoretical side of the issue. <![CDATA[I Tensed the Laws and the Laws Won: Non-Eternalist Humeanism]]> ABSTRACT In this paper, I propose a variant of a Humean account of laws called "Open Future Humeanism" (OFH), which holds that since the laws supervene partly on future events, there are at any instant infinitely many possible future courses of events. I argue that if one wants to take the openness of the future that OFH proposes ontologically serious, then OFH is best represented within a growing block view of time. I further discuss some of OFH's problems which stem from the fact that in this view, there are no laws as long as time progresses. These problems can be solved by adding a temporal operator to the laws, so that at any instant, we get a set of tensed laws which held up to and including that instant. <![CDATA[Fear of Death and the Symmetry Argument]]> ABSTRACT According to the Symmetry Argument against the fear of death, our attitudes towards birth and death should be identical. In this paper I defend the Deprivation Account of the badness of death, according to which death is bad because it deprives one of future goods. After rejecting previous attempts to explain and justify the asymmetry in our attitudes towards birth and death I argue that the asymmetry in our attitudes is both explained and justified by the fact that contrary to birth, death is not viewed as a nomologically necessary condition for life, and therefore death is viewed as an unnecessary limitation of life. <![CDATA[Response to 'Fear of death and the symmetry argument']]> ABSTRACT This article is a response to 'Fear of death and the symmetry argument', in this issue. In that article, the author discusses the above Lucretian symmetry argument, and proposes a view that justifies the existing asymmetry in our attitudes towards birth and death. I begin by distinguishing this symmetry argument from a different one, also loosely inspired by Lucretius, which also plays a role in the article. I then describe what I take to be the author's solution to the original symmetry argument (i.e. the one above) and explain why I am unpersuaded by it. <![CDATA[The Art of Time Travel: An 'Insoluble' Problem Solved]]> ABSTRACT In 'An Insoluble Problem' (2010), Storrs McCall presents an argument which he takes to reveal the real problem with backwards time travel. McCall asks us to imagine a scenario in which a renowned artist produces his famous works by copying them from reproductions brought back to him by a time-travelling art critic. The novelty of the scenario lies in its introduction of aesthetic constraints on the possibility of time travel, something which sets it apart from other time travel cases. McCall states that 'The puzzle lies ... in finding where artistic creativity enters the equation', and that 'Unlike the traditional "paradoxes of time travel", this problem has no solution'. We offer four responses to McCall's puzzle. Whilst we show that the puzzle is not insoluble, we also argue that it reveals something about the proper relationship between copying and creativity, which may not have been apparent without considering time travel. <![CDATA[Screen Present and Fictional Present]]> ABSTRACT I intend in this paper to explore the possible consequences for our understanding of fiction of a particular view of the nature of time, namely the hypothesis of the open future. The kind of fiction we will particularly concerned with is film, which provides a convenient way of focusing the general issue I want to raise here. The issue could also be raised in relation to theatre and certain types of novel, but there are nevertheless some disanalogies between film and these other art forms, and I shall indicate these below. The essay is intended as an exercise in bringing metaphysics and aesthetics together, to the benefit (I hope and trust) of both.