A Future for Presentism

Paperback | July 1, 2009

byCraig Bourne

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Presentism, 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 andexciting 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 forsolving 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 between the past and the present, how we can meaningfully talk about the future, howto deal with transtemporal relations between the past and the present, how we can meaningfully talk about past individuals, and how causal relations can be formulated. Part I concludes with a discussion of the direction of time and causation, the decision-theoretic problem known as 'Newcomb'sproblem', 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 ofits 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 ourfuture and arrive in our past. The necessary physics is explained with the aid of diagrams, throughout.

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Presentism, 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 andexciting debate. After discussing rival positions i...

Carig Bourne is Senior Lecturer in Philosophy at the University of Hertfordshire.

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Format:PaperbackDimensions:256 pages, 8.5 × 5.43 × 0.01 inPublished:July 1, 2009Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0199568219

ISBN - 13:9780199568215

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Table of Contents

IntroductionPart I: The Presentist Manifesto1. When am I?2. A theory of presentism3. Some outstanding problems for presentism met4. Transtemporal relations (III): causationPart II: Presentism and Relativity5. Physics for philosophers6. The present dialectic in special relativity7. Becoming inflated8. All the time in the worlds: Godel's modal moral