Date of Degree


Document Type


Degree Name





Michael Levin

Committee Members

Steven Ross

Graham Priest

John Lango

Peter Simpson

Subject Categories



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


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



To view the content in your browser, please download Adobe Reader or, alternately,
you may Download the file to your hard drive.

NOTE: The latest versions of Adobe Reader do not support viewing PDF files within Firefox on Mac OS and if you are using a modern (Intel) Mac, there is no official plugin for viewing PDF files within the browser window.