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The Arguments of Time$
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Jeremy Butterfield

Print publication date: 2006

Print ISBN-13: 9780197263464

Published to British Academy Scholarship Online: January 2012

DOI: 10.5871/bacad/9780197263464.001.0001

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A Century of Time

A Century of Time

Chapter:
(p.1) 1. A Century of Time
Source:
The Arguments of Time
Author(s):

J. R. Lucas

Publisher:
British Academy
DOI:10.5871/bacad/9780197263464.003.0001

This chapter argues for the position of temporal becoming across a wide variety of fields. The chapter's central sections address successively the metaphysics, physics and logic of time. It rebuts McTaggart's argument that temporal becoming involves a contradiction. It admits that special relativity's frame — dependence of simultaneity is inimical to temporal becoming. However it also argues that temporal becoming is rehabilitated both by general relativity's allowance of cosmic time functions and, more fundamentally, by the collapse of the wave-packet in quantum theory. Finally, the discussion considers the logic of time, especially tense logic, and applies this to recent cosmological speculation about the Big Bang and more generally to the idea of the beginning of time.

Keywords:   metaphysics, physics, time logic, temporal becoming, special relativity, tense logic, Big Bang

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