Time, Tense, and Causation

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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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Contents

Introduction
1
Alternative Accounts
11
Actuality and Actuality as of a Time
33
Temporally Relative Facts and the Argument
43
Preventability
68
Facts Causation and Time
72
Truth and Truth at a Time
123
Tensed Accounts of the Nature of Time
157
Tensed Properties
229
Causation and Temporal Relations
253
Temporal Priority
282
Philosophical Objections
301
about the Future
316
The Special Theory of Relativity and the Unreality
335
Summary and Conclusions
375
Bibliography
382

Past Present and Future
189
Tensed Operators
206
Alternative Accounts
213

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About the author (1997)

Michael Tooley is Professor of Philosophy at the University of Colorado, Boulder. He held positions previously at the Australian National University, the University of Western Australia, and the University of Miami. He has been a visiting professor at Stanford, Wichita State, and Utah. Heis the author of Abortion and Infanticide (OUP 1983) and Causation: A Realist Approach (OUP 1987). He co-edited with Ernest Sosa the volume on Causation (1993) in the Oxford Readings in Philosophy series.

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