Time, Tense, and Causation
Clarendon Press, 1997 - Philosophy - 399 pages
Michael Tooley presents a major new philosophical study of time and its relation to causation. The nature of time has always been one of the most fascinating and perplexing problems of philosophy; it has in recent years become the focus of vigorous debate between advocates of rival theories.The traditional, `tensed' accounts of time which hold that time has a direction and that the flow of time is part of the nature of the universe have been challenged by `tenseless' accounts of time, according to which past, present, and future are merely subjective features of experience, rather thanobjective features of events. Time, Tense and Causation offers a new approach, in many ways intermediate between these two rivals. Tooley shares with tensed approaches the views that the universe if dynamic, and that the past and present are real while the future is not; but he rejects the viewthat this points to the existence of irreducible tensed facts. Tooley's approach accounts for time in terms of its relation to causation; he argues that the direction of time is based upon the direction of causation, and that the key to understanding the dynamic nature of the universe is tounderstand the nature of causation. He analyses tensed concepts, and discusses semantic issues about truth and time, Finally, addressing the formidable difficulties posed for tensed accounts of time by the Special Theory of Relativity, he suggests that a modified version of the theory, compatiblewith the account of time in this book, is to be preferred to the standard version. Time, Tense, and Causation is rich in sophisticated and stimulating discussions of many of the deepest problems of metaphysics. It will be essentail reading for anyone specialising in this area of philosophy.
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absolute simultaneity actual affairs alternative analysed in terms analytically basic argued argument from preventability backward causation causal connectibility causal laws causal loops causal processes causal relations causal theory claim concept of truth counterfactuals crucial direction of causation disjunction dynamic world earlier entails event of type existence factually true false formulation future given idea indeterminate inertial frames involve indexicals J. J. C. Smart later logical connectives Mellor modified theory n-tuple nature objection one-way speed ordinary tensed sentences past philosophers posterior probability postulates C1 present are real principle prior probability proposition question reductionist relevant secondly singularist space-time points Special Theory speed of light supervenient temporal concepts temporal distance temporal priority tensed accounts tensed concepts tensed facts tensed properties tensed statements tensed terms tensed view tenseless accounts tenseless approaches tenseless temporal tenselessly terms of tensed Theory of Relativity three-valued logic token truth conditions truth simpliciter truth-functional truth-maker truth-value two-valued type Q