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In this paper I will be discussing the dynamic view of time. According to the dynamic view of time, time flows, or passes. This thesis has been taken to imply that temporal passage is, in important ways, analogous to passage through space. There is a present moment, a now moment, but the now index is not invariant in its temporal location. The now moves from moment to moment, from earlier moments to later moments. Moments that aren t now are not statically past (earlier than the now) or future (later than the now) but are changing in their pastness or futurity. Presently future moments are becoming less and less future as the now moves along, while presently past moments are becoming more and more past. The dynamic view of time is of considerable disrepute. A number of conceptual difficulties seem to advise against taking the imagery of temporal passage literally. Nonetheless, we needn t take an image literally in order to take it seriously. In this paper, I will be arguing for an understanding of temporal passage that is immune to several canonical refutations of the dynamic view of time. The paper will be structured as a response to Eric Olson s brief and incisive (2009) article. Olson s argument is perfectly simple. 1. 2. 3. 4. Talk of rate of time s passage is conceptually confused. The dynamic view requires a rate of time s passage. Any tensed theory of time requires the dynamic view. Therefore, all tensed theories of time are false.
The tensed theory of time is the claim that tense is real. Some temporal properties are tenseless. T1 is tenselessly earlier than T2, tenselessly later than T3, and tenselessly simultaneous with T4. If these relations among times obtain, they obtain eternally. Other temporal properties are tensed. T1 is present. It wasn t always, and won t always be. T1 was future, but it is no longer. T1 is not yet past, but it will be. Being present , being past and being future are properties that inhere in T1 transiently.
According to tensed theories of time, our tendency to say things like T1 is past is not just an linguistic artifact of some utterance s being located at a time T2 (something that is eternally true) combined with T2 s being later than T1 (something that is eternally true). Rather, times have tensed properties in virtue of reality s being genuinely tensed. T2 is past iff T2 is (simpliciter) either nonexistent or ontologically deficient, but T2 once had the sort of ontologically robust status granted to the present moment. Olson argues that conceiving of reality as genuinely tensed requires the dynamic view of time. This is a very plausible claim. The imagery of a series of moments that change in their tensed properties suggests an index (with reference to which such properties are determined) that moves along the series. I think that Olson s argument is an extremely suggestive and valuable starting point for a discussion of the relationship between tense, passage, transience, and change. There is an element of truth in all three premises, but a short exploration will make it clear that they are not all true in a way that makes their conjunction entail Olson s sweeping rejection of tensed theories. Seeing how this is the case will take us a considerable distance towards clarifying some concepts that are central to a coherent ontology of time, so refuting of Olson s argument should accomplish a great deal more than merely defending tensed theories of time against one among many arguments for their falsity. The paper will take up all three premises in their turn, and in order. I will conclude that premise two depends upon a particular understanding of temporal passage. If one understands temporal passage in one way (the correct way, I think) then premise two is false. But if Olson wants to insist on an understanding of passage that renders premise two true, then he forgoes his right to premise three. Thus we are left with no compelling reason to reject dynamism, and no reason at all to reject tensed theories of time. II. Olson s Argument Against Passage The dynamist claims that time passes. The passage of time is often taken to refer to movement of the now from earlier moments to later moments. Movement happens at a rate. Dynamism seems to
require that the now moves at some rate. But rate is a temporal measurement; how fast a car moves is a function of how much time the car takes to travel a certain distance. If the rate of time s passage is to be analogous to spatial passage, then we might ask how long it takes the now to travel a certain distance. But the distance in question is temporal distance. Measuring the distance between two temporal points (say where the now is presently, at 3:37 p.m. on Monday, and 3:37 p.m. on the coming Tuesday) yields a temporal distance, a time (roughly twenty-four hours). So asking after the rate of time s passage is asking what temporal distance is traveled during a given temporal interval. But, of course, the temporal distance just is the temporal interval, so these two values will always be equal. That is, time moves at one second per second. Or one hour per hour. Or one year per year. Not a very interesting rate. The dynamist will express puzzlement at the apparent requirement that the rate of time s passage be an interesting rate. Why can t the claim time passes at one second per second be true, even if uninteresting? But the problem is deeper than that, Olson insists. One second per second is not just an uninteresting rate, but not a rate at all. One second per second is one. One is not a rate. The argument is now: 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. Either time doesn t pass at a rate, or it passes at a rate of one second for second. One second per second is equal to one. One is not a rate, and passing at a rate of one is nonsense. Therefore, time doesn t pass at a rate of one second per one second. Therefore time doesn t pass at a rate. If time passes, then it passes at a rate. Therefore, time doesn t pass.
This argument has proven surprisingly resistant to a barrage of straightforward responses. Prior, for instance, has claimed that acceleration provides a model for passage at one second per second, since acceleration is expressed in metres per second per second. (1968, 8-9) But this does not work. [Metre / second / second] is not equal to [metre / (second / second)], but rather [(metre/second)/second], which contains no instance of (second/second). So the defense that says we have extant and perfectly
coherent examples of rates of second/second in our physics must be abandoned. We don t, in fact, ever measure anything in seconds per second. Perhaps if we can change one of the temporal values in (second/second) into an atemporal value, we can translate (second/second) into a respectable ratio that doesn t reduce to one. Perhaps we say that time passes at one hour per cycle of the minute hand. Or perhaps time passes at one second per 9 192631 770 periods of the radiation corresponding to the transition between the two hyperfine levels of the ground state of the caesium-133 atom .1 But this is does not work. Just as one hour passes per one cycle of the minute hand, so one cycle of the minute hand passes per hour, allowing a translation of our new rate right back into the old one:
1 hour 1 cycle
1 cycle 1 hour
1 hour 1 hour
A rate that can be converted into 1 was equal to 1 to begin with. Along the same lines, Schlesinger (1969; 1990, 30-3) suggests that time could pass at a rate indexed to a second time dimension. We could then convert (1 second / 1 second) into another value that doesn t reduce to 1. But this does not work. Olson s argument cannot be diffused by pointing to translation of (1 second) into (N second2s) any more than it can be diffused by pointing to an atemporal conversion of (1 second). Whatever else might be true of the rate of time s passage on these alternative measurements, it remains also true that time passes at (1 second / 1 second). The original rate has been converted, not falsified. And insofar as the rate of time s passage is (among other things) (1 second / 1 second), the rate of time s passage is 1, and that is nonsense. If (1 second/N second2s) is the correct conversion of seconds into second2s, then N second2s is equal to 1 second, and our new apparently coherent rate is equivalent to our old incoherent rate of 1.
Bureau International des Poids et Mesures. http://www.bipm.org/en/si/si_brochure/chapter2/2-1/second.html
Hudson et. al.(2009) accuse Olson of a similar category mistake. One second per second only equals one if you try to divide one second by one second, but we don t divide seconds. We divide numbers. So a value expressed in seconds per second still expresses a rate. But this does not work. The following is surely legitimate:
60 sec 1 min
60 min 1 hour
3600 seconds 1 hour
The above operation requires canceling out the minute value that appears in the denominator of one value and the numerator of the other. And to do so is not to commit a category mistake. Already it is not obvious that eliminating the second value that appears in (1 second / 1 second) is any different, but if the reader remains unconvinced, let her consider the following conversion:
1 sec 1 sec
1 sec 1 sec
This is to make the same legitimate move that we saw above, cancelling out the second where it appears in the numerator of one fraction and the denominator of another fraction. I have simply done so twice. Making this move once was legitimate; there is no reason for two iterations of the same move to be illegitimate. The claim that division applies to numbers, and not objects, does not ward off the reduction of (1 second / 1 second) to one. Rescuing the claim that (1 second / 1 second) expresses a rate seems ill-fated. Let us take it for granted that premise one of Olson s argument is true. In what follows, I move on to consider whether this would be devastating to dynamism.
Passage without Rate a. Passage as Change
In my original formulation of Olson s argument, premise two was The dynamic view requires a rate of time s passage. In my formulation of Olson s argument against passage in §II, premise six was if time passes, it passes at a rate . And, indeed, Olson commits himself to this claim straightforwardly enough. According to the dynamic view, the passage of time is a genuine process of change in the temporal properties of times, events or persisting objects. Now if an event becomes more past, it must do so at a certain rate: by a certain number of hours in an hour. What is this rate? How fast, in other words, does time pass? This question is an old chestnut. Still, it seems to require an answer. (4) I will suggest in this section that it s not so obvious that this question requires an answer. First, let us consider Olson s attempt to anticipate this reply. Olson divides his dynamist opponents into those that believe time can pass at (one second / one second), those that think time can pass at some other rate, and those that think that time can pass without passing at a rate at all. In the preceding section, I effectively accepted Olson s rejection of the first two alternatives. I now want to take up the third. I want to suggest there is a coherent notion of temporal passage that does not assume time passes at some rate. Olson takes Markosian (1993) to be the best representative of this position. Markosian writes that it makes no sense to say that time passes at one second per second because of the unique status of the second as the unit of measurement by which to indicate the amount of time that passes in a second. Likewise, saying the metre bar is a metre long is rather strange, if not false, since the unit metre just means the length of the metre bar. However, Markosian s way of expressing himself invites Olson s rebuke:
Markosian s suggestion is that one second is defined as the time it takes for one second to pass . Thus, to say that one second passes in one second is to say that one second passes in the time it takes one second to pass. If he is to avoid the conclusion that time passes at one second per second, he will have to say that despite appearances it is not true that one second passes in the time it takes for one second to pass even though time does pass. (8)
Markosian s phrasing is to be regretted. Referring the time it takes for one second to pass suggests that the passing second is some ontologically real thing over and above the time it takes for the second to pass. This invites Olson to seamlessly translate Markosian s own passage-talk into rate-talk. Olson s argument did not depend on (1 second / 1 second) being the only way to express the rate of time s passage. Rather, Olson s insisted that, however one chooses to express the rate of time s passage, it must be false that time passes at one second per second on the given account, since such a claim ought to be false on any plausible account. Markosian saying that a second is the time it takes one second to pass hardly succeeds at making it false that one second passes per second, and so the illustration of temporal passage with which Markosian leaves us does not escape Olson s criticism. Nonetheless, it seems to me that something like Markosian s response is right. But before we can see this a few things need to be made clear. First, we must become clear on how Olson s response to Markosian is functioning. The response seems appropriate, I think, because Markosian s way of wording himself invites a misunderstanding. But once we look beyond Olson s accomplishment in twisting Markosian s phrase into one that invites all of the same absurdities of saying time passes at (1 second / 1 second), we see that there cannot be any problem with whether Markosian s claim is true, only with whether or not it successfully captures passage. That one second is the length of time that a second of time lasts is unassailable, just as one inch is the length of an inch and twelve is the twelfth integer after zero. Here, the fact that our ratios reduce to one is unthreatening, because the identity of the analysans and analysandum are precisely what makes these claims trivially true. Olson suggests in several passages that any account of time s passage according to which the correct answer to how many months have passed in the last month is one month is subject to all of his argument against passage, but he must be overstating himself here. If someone asks how many inches are in an inch, the correct answer is one , combined with an appropriate look of puzzlement. There is no reason that this equivalence of one second to one second, or sixty seconds to one minute, will be falsified by a successful
theory of time, dynamist or otherwise. What remains unvindicated by this answer is the idea that the now passes through one second each second, since this was precisely the imagery that the original arguments were leveled against. But to assume that this refutes passage is to assume that passage just is the movement of a now across a static and ontologically distinct time-series. This brings me to my second point. Second, Olson s argument (and its argumentative ancestry back to Smart (1951) and Williams (1949)) is not misled; there is a lesson to be learnt. We must resist the urge to take dynamism as commiting us to a spatialization of temporal movement. Whatever temporal movement is, it is bound to be importantly dissimilar from spatial movement. Our temptation to think of the now as an arrow moving across a static field (where the field is ontologically distinct from the arrow itself) is going to fall into all of the absurdities that Olson has shown us. Movement (in the traditional sense) requires a medium, and movement through a medium has a rate with respect to its progress relative to that medium. If time passes (and to pass is to move in this sense) then why not think that the passage thesis requires such a rate? Rescuing dynamism cannot come about by refuting the problems with a rate of (1 second / 1 second), or so (provisionally) it seems to me. Rather, the dynamist must provide an alternative account of what temporal passage is, and how it is distinct from spatial passage. The goal should be to ensure that the resulting picture of temporal passage is recognizable as passage, without being subject to all of the same absurdities. This brings me to my third point. Third, the passage thesis has less to do with movement and more to do with change. That is, the theory that time passes is the theory that change is a real phenomenon, and not a merely first-person perspectival phenomenon. When someone tells their pining ex-lover that too much time has passed, the comment has the superficial appearance of committing to the sort of spatialized passage we have been refuting. But what s being communicated by such an utterance is that too much has changed. That is, not enough of what was (simpliciter) the case is (simpliciter) the case, and too much of what is
(simpliciter) the case was (simpliciter) not the case. In order for a new picture of passage to be recognizable as a picture of passage, what must be preserved is not the image of an arrow moving through a static field (a picture that invites the rate question) but rather that a complete specification of what is the case will, itself, be subject to change. b. How Things Might Change Where do we now stand? We have tried to take the passage of time literally and seen that this is conceptually problematic. Wanting nonetheless to take passage seriously and understanding the latter as a thesis about change, rather than the literal movement of an ontologically suspect now, it is worth considering several accounts of passage and asking which of them, if any, preserve the sense that reality is transient, but do not invite any of the conceptual difficulties of a rate. Ted Sider (forthcoming, 27797) has provided a handy roster of candidates.2 They are, reversing Sider s order of presentation, the growing block, the moving spotlight, Williamsonian passage and presentism. I will consider them in turn.3 First, let us consider the growing block theorist. The growing block theorist takes the past and present to be real and the future to be unreal. There are dinosaurs is true, because dinosaurs exist at some past time. There are skyscrapers on the moon is false, even if there will one day be skyscrapers on the moon. Positive facts, of the form There exists an x such that x are false until a moment at which they are true, and they remain true forever. The passage of time, for the growing block theorist, is the addition of new positive facts to reality as new moments become present and then fall into the past. Reality, on the growing block picture, is constituted by eternally true positive facts. But that doesn t presently include all the facts that it will include one year from now. For instance, there are two State
In accordance with Sider s wishes, I refrain from quoting this manuscript explicitly. I am neglecting the two fundamental perspectives on reality view. However such a view is cashed out, it s going to need to specify just what the temporal perspective on reality is, and presumably that specification will look something like one of the other candidates descriptions of a temporal universe.
of the Union addresses delivered by Barack Obama is currently false, but will become true. This progressive amalgamation of facts could plausibly be called the passage of time; after all, this is a model of change. Whether I find the growing block theory plausible (on the face of it, I don t) is less relevant to the present inquiry than the fact that the growing block theory allows a picture of passage that need not fall to Olson s criticism. The passage from T1 to T2 is a matter of a proper subset of the facts that are true at T2 having been false at T1. Calling this a change from one time to another does not require a spatialized positing of two temporal points between which there is a determinate temporal distance. If the growing block theorist were to commit to this latter picture, then the rate at which that temporal distance is traversed would be a legitimate thing to wonder, but the movement from one set of true positive propositions to an expanded set of true positive propositions need not be the sort of thing expressible as having happened at a rate. Perhaps one will want to ask the rate at which the relevant facts became true (n facts per minute), and then insist that this would be the rate of passage, but this would be doubly misguided. First, if such a rate were a satisfying expression of the growing block s image of change, then it would be a straightforward answer to the conceptual questions raised by Olson in the first place. If n facts per minute could express a rate of the passage of time, then such a rate is perfectly conceptually coherent. But more to the point, this rate simply would not plausibly be the rate of time s passage, for such would imply that the amount of time that has passed in the last hour would depend on how much had changed in the last hour. Since the passage of time is the expansion of the set of true positive facts, and since the difference between the two relevant sets is not plausibly the sort of thing that could determine a rate of passage, there seems to be nothing in the vicinity that could determine a rate of passage, so the clearest answer seems to be that there is no rate. Construing the passage of time as the change from one set of true propositions to a larger set of true propositions need not invite questions of the rate of that change at all.
The second alternative is the moving spotlight. The moving spotlight posits an eternalist ontology. There are dinosaurs, and there are (maybe) skyscrapers on the moon. But nonetheless a metaphysical index designates one of the ontologically equal moments as present. All of the facts are eternal facts except for a minuscule subset: the facts about which moment is present (and all the corresponding Afacts about other moments, determined by their B-theoretic relations with the present moment. As with the growing block, I am inclined to think that there is little to recommend this view, and Sider s own criticisms are persuasive,4 but far more to the point, a change in facts about which moments are present would be sufficient to establish that reality has changed, and so to preserve the most important notion of temporal passage. However, present considerations ultimately will weigh heavily against the moving spotlight picture. Unlike the growing block view, where the passage of time just was the adding of positive facts to the fabric of reality, the passage of time on the moving stoplight view would be entirely constituted by facts about where on an eternally existent temporal series the present index lay. Where the growing block s passage was a transition from one heterogeneous set of true propositions to another, with no commitments about the various constitutions of these sets except that the latter must be a superset of the former, the moving spotlight very strictly specifies the nature of change that could occur between T1 and T2. If T1 is 3:00 PM, and T2 is 4:00 PM, then all of the moments prior to T1 become an hour more past, all of the moments post-T2 become an hour less future, etc. This linear account of the sort of change that constitutes the passage of time does invite the spatialized imagery against which we found Olson s argument persuasive. How long does it take T0 to become an hour more past than it
All of the facts that are true at T1 are true when T1 is not present except the fact that T1 is present (and all of the A-facts determined by other moments B-theoretic relations with T1). But what content is added to the description of T1 in saying so? The only obvious candidate is that the moment at which T1 is present is the moment at which we are at T1, but what evidence do we have that our moment is the present one? The only evidence is that it seems present to us, but it s just as true that the people existing at T0 would report that T0 seems present to them as well. If this does not provide evidence that T1 is present, then it s not clear what would, and it s not clear what presentness any longer amounts to. (see 292-3)
is? Why, one hour. T0 is becoming more past at a rate of one hour per hour. If we wish to preserve passage but resist talk of rate, we must reject the moving spotlight model of temporal passage. Third, let us consider Williamsonian passage. Williamson contributed to the metaphysics of modality by insisting that it s possible something is p entails there is something which is possibly p (2002). Williamsonian passage adopts this inference and takes something was p in the past to entail there is something that was p in the past or there is something that is pastly-p . For convenience, let us call the person who accepts Williamsonian passage a Williamsonian, ignoring the fact that Williamson has not endorsed the application of his view to times. The Williamsonian believes that a thing that was p is a thing that is pastly-p. But pastly-p things aren t p things, and so don t have all of the properties of p things. While the past objects on the moving spotlight ontology have all of the properties that they had when they were present objects except the property of being present, past objects on a Williamsonian ontology are nonconcrete entities that lack any of those properties. Past parties are not loud, future chairs are not comfortable, and past persons don t think that they are present persons, because past persons do not think. If we hoped to construe passage in the way that we did with the growing block theorist above, according to which temporal passage is real so long as the reality is fundamentally transient, the Williamsonian is well poised to conform to such a picture. All entities are eternal existents, but they exist as nonconcrete entities when they are past or future and concrete entities when they are present. Reality undergoes genuine change insofar as the subset of entities that exists concretely (and thus bears properties) shifts. This, again, need not be expressible as a rate at all, because in order to account for the change that is undergone between T1 and T2, we need not resort to any temporal distance between temporal points. The change is not in virtue of a now moving along some temporal distance d, but rather in virtue of the set of concretely existing objects shifting to exclude some that it previously included and to include some that were previously excluded. Just as before, if Olson wants to insist that
our passage still has a rate insofar as there is a rate at which objects become or cease to be concrete, this is doubly confused for the reasons enumerated above. Finally, presentism is the belief that only present things are real. Past and future things are unreal. Of all our passage theorists, the presentist will have the easiest time discharging Olson s criticism. This is a very surprising result of the above methodology; presentism is a tensed theory par excellence, and if Olson can t show that presentism depends upon passage, than his claim to having defeated tensed theories is in bad shape. Nonetheless, I think that the result is correct. Imagine the spatial analogue to presentism; call it localism. Suppose that where I am, here, is the only location that exists. Now imagine that I move my feet a number of times in a familiar way, and I end up somewhere else. This somewhere else is now here. Where I was before no longer exists. These two locations are not spatially related to one another, because only existent things can be in a spatial relationship with one another. Suppose one wanted to figure out the rate at which I was walking. It seems one would need to divide the distance I travelled over the time it took me to get there. So one must first figure out the distance I travelled. But distance is a measurable relationship between two existing points, and as a localist I only allow a single existing point. The localist must say that spatial distance, and thus rate of spatial movement is incalculable, and unintelligible. Thankfully, there are no reasons to be a localist, so we can hold onto our odometers and other useful rates. On the other hand, plenty of people think that there is reason to be a presentist. By the above reasoning, not only needn t the presentist countenance a rate of time s passage, the presentist cannot even articulate what such a value would be, since the very notion of distance (necessary to measure rate) has no correlate in presentist ontology. Thus the presentist is quite happy to accept Olson s rejection of a rate of temporal passage. So the spatial conception of temporal passage is most plausibly disallowed by presentist ontology. But passage surely is allowable, so long as we recognize passage to be change. If reality was wholly constituted by a single moment this time yesterday, and it is wholly constituted by a single moment
now, and those two moments are different from one another in innumerable ways, then reality has changed. Time has passed. We have been considering the various conceptions of temporal passage available to theorists of time with various ontologies. We have found that, though the moving spotlight theorist may have a difficult time shedding the baggage of the rate argument, things look quite different for the growing block theorist, the Williamsonian and the presentist. The latter three have relatively little trouble accommodating the lessons of Olson s arguments. Indeed, far from presupposing a rate of time passage, presentism was shown to be incompatible with a rate of time s passage. All three of these positions can insist upon the reality of passage so by developing a distinctly non-spatial concept of temporal passage, centered on the idea that reality changes. In the next and final section, I will revisit Olson s original claim that his argument against temporal passage spells doom for tensed theories of time, and I will show that we have little reason to think that this is true. IV. Tense after Rate Olson takes his argument to do quite a lot of work. Time s passage is a myth. But then no tensed or A-theory of time can be true either, for tensed theories entail the dynamic view. Tensed theories say that tense is a real feature of the world, and not merely part of the content of our thought and talk: certain times or events are absolutely present, and each persisting thing has an absolute age The reality of tense brings with it purely temporal change: the dynamic view. If there were no change in which times or events are absolutely present, nothing could be absolutely present. Were there no change in the absolute age of things, nothing would have any absolute age. Any tensed theory of time must therefore entail the dynamic view. I have argued that the dynamic view cannot be true. If that is right, then neither can any tensed theory of time. (8-9) I suspect that my reaction to this argument will be unsurprising. Throughout this passage Olson argues that realism about change is an inextricable component of any tensed theory of time. But, as I hope to have shown, none of the arguments that Olson constructs against time s passage having a rate amount to an argument against the possibility of reality undergoing genuine change. The latter can perfectly well be vindicated so long as we recognize that time and space needn t be so perfectly analogous that
temporal passage must be construed as an index s moving a given temporal distance across an ontologically independent temporal series. Though such imagery might be suggested by talk of temporal passage, it is not demanded or entailed by temporal passage. Let us assure ourselves that we have taken this final argumentative move seriously. The Atheory of time is hardly a monolith whose essential commitments are agreed upon by all. The theory has its ancestry in McTaggart s A-series. The A-theoretic description of a moment is in terms of its relation to a present moment; either the moment is the present moment itself, or else it is related to the present moment with a certain degree of pastness or futurity. Assuming this series corresponds to reality, moments will change with respect to (what are called) their A-properties. Any view that takes this imagery seriously has been labeled an A-theory of time. The A-theory has been described as the view that: the present is distinctive qua present, that presentness is imbued with deep metaphysical significance (Dowe 2009, 642), that tense is objective (Zimmerman 2005, 402), that the present is somehow ontologically privileged, and that the sentential tense operators are fundamental. Because (according to the A-theorist) presentness is a real property of some part (perhaps all) of reality, and because attempts to indicate presentness in tenseless terms have been a resounding failure, the facts that make up reality are irreducibly tensed. Reality, the universe as it really is, is some way now, but it wasn t always that way and it won t be that way forever. From such a casting of the A-theory, it seems that A-theories of time are, first and foremost, dedicated to the reality of change. Olson is thus correct in his insistence that if he is capable of falsifying the claim that reality is genuinely transient in some of its properties, he would have defeated the Atheory. And, on the way that I have opted to understand temporal passage, change is equally essential to the passing of time. Indeed, Sider s definition of the A-theory just is the theory that time passes (Forthcoming 268). So, again, I m fully willing to grant Olson his claim that defeating temporal passage is sufficient to defeat the A-theory. But it should now be clear where Olson has overreached. Premise
two, that the dynamic view of time requires a rate of passage, is false on a non-spatial characterization of temporal passage. We have seen that the opposed spatial characterization of passage deserves to be rejected, but also that it is not essential to dynamism. Should Olson wish to insist that dynamism is narrowly committed to such a picture, he can retain his defeat of dynamism, but at the cost of his having a right to claim victory over the A-theory, since the latter is only essentially committed to the claim that things really do change. If the passage thesis has its loyalties to the spatial image, then the Atheory doesn t need it. If the passage thesis has its loyalties to the A-theory, then time can perfectly well pass without passing at any rate.
Works Cited Dowe, Phil (2009). Every Now and Then: A-Theory and Loops in Time, Journal of Philosophy: 106:12 641-665. Hudson, Markosian, Wasserman, and Whitcomb (2009). The Rate of Passage: Reply to van inwagen and Olson. Markosian, Ned (1993). How Fast Does Time Pass?, Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 53:4 829 844. Olson, Eric T. (2009). The Rate of Time s Passage., Analysis 69:1 3 - 9. Prior AN (1968). Changes in Events and Changes in Things. In his Papers on Time and Tense, 2nd Edition. London: Oxford University Press 2003. 7 19. Schlesinger, George (1969). The Two Notions of the Passage of Time, Noûs 3:1 1 16. Schlesinger, George (1990). Aspects of Time. Indianapolis: Hackett Publishing Company. Sider, Ted (Forthcoming). Writing the Book of the World. Smart JJC (1949). The River of Time. Mind 58(232) :483 494 Williams, Donald C. (1951). The Myth of Passage, The Journal of Philosophy 48:15 457 472. Williamson, Timothy (2002). Necessary Existents. In A. O Hear (ed.), Logic, Thought and Language, 233 51. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Zimmerman, Dean (2005). The A-theory of Time, the B-theory of Time, and Taking Tense Seriously , Dialectica: International Journal of Philosophy & Official organ of the Esap 59:4 401 457.
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