A Future for Presentism
By (author) Craig Bourne
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Future for Presentism by Craig Bourne
Book DescriptionPresentism, the view that only the present exists, was a much neglected position in the philosophy of time for a number of years. Recently, however, it has been enjoying a renaissance among philosophers. A Future for Presentism is meant as a timely contribution to this fast growing and exciting debate. After discussing rival positions in the philosophy of time, in Part I Craig Bourne shows how presentism is the only viable alternative to the tenseless theory of time. He then develops a distinctive version of presentism that avoids the mistakes of the past, and which sets up the framework for solving problems traditionally associated with the position, such as what makes past-tensed statements true, how to give the proper semantics for statements about the future, how to deal with transtemporal relations, how we can meaningfully talk about past individuals, and how causation can be accommodated. Part I concludes with a discussion of the direction of time and causation, the decision-theoretic problem known as 'Newcomb's problem', and the possibility of time travel and causal loops. In Part II Bourne focuses on the problems for presentism raised by relativity theory. He begins with by giving a self-contained exposition of the concepts of special relativity that are important for understanding the later discussion of its philosophical implications. The last two chapters explore the philosophical implications of certain cosmological models that arise from general relativity, namely the expanding models, which seem to represent our universe, and Godel's infamous model, which allows us to take a journey into our future and arrive in our past. The necessary physics is explained with the aid of diagrams, throughout.
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Book DetailsISBN: 9780199212804
(222mm x 145mm x 19mm)
Imprint: Clarendon Press
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Publish Date: 7-Dec-2006
Country of Publication: United Kingdom
Books By Author Craig Bourne
Time in Fiction, Hardback (February 2016)
What can we learn about the world from engaging with fictional time-series-stories involving time travellers, recurring and rewinding time, and foreknowledge of the future? Craig Bourne and Emily Caddick Bourne show how we can use the complexities of fictional time to get to the core of the relation between truth in fiction and possibility.
Future for Presentism, Paperback (June 2009)» View all books by Craig Bourne
How can we talk meaningfully about the past if it does not exist to be talked about? What gives time its direction? Is time travel possible? This defence of presentism - the view that only the present exists - makes an original contribution to a fast growing and exciting debate.
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