Date of Degree

5-2018

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Ph.D.

Program

Philosophy

Advisor

Michael Levin

Committee Members

Steven Ross

Graham Priest

John Lango

Peter Simpson

Subject Categories

Metaphysics

Keywords

metaphysics of time, McTaggart Paradox, A-time b-time

Abstract

Our metaphysical notion of temporality is exhausted by the concepts of fluid and static time. Following James Ellis McTaggart, philosophers refer to these times as the A-series and B-series respectively. To have a metaphysical argument against the reality of time as such, therefore, separate arguments against the reality of both temporal series are required. In the dissertation, I shall offer a number of both types of arguments. In the first chapter, McTaggart’s program is assessed. It is concluded that McTaggart has an argument against the reality of the A-series, but does not have one against the reality of the B-series. In the second chapter, additional arguments against the reality of the A-series, as well as against hybrid A/B series, are presented. In the third chapter, it is argued that the B-series is as unreal as its counterpart, the A-series, is. This outcome leaves us with the following philosophical predicament: on the one hand, our philosophical notion of time is exhausted by the concepts of fluid and static time; on the other hand, neither concept, nor any of their amalgamation, is adequate to give us a coherent metaphysical theory of time. The dilemma, I believe, is a sufficient reason for the conclusion that time, as it is conceived by philosophers, is not part of physical reality.

Included in

Metaphysics Commons

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