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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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The Metaphysics of Time

The Metaphysics of Time

(p.21) 2. The Metaphysics of Time
The Arguments of Time

Michael Tooley

British Academy

This chapter maintains that the two broad positions in the temporal becoming debate are too broad; that is, each is a conjunction of metaphysical theses, and these are in general logically independent of each other. Furthermore, it notes that the truth ‘lies in the middle’. It argues for a temporal becoming in the sense that what facts are actual varies with time. And arguments relating to counterfactuals and to causation suggest that facts never cease to exist, so that actuality ‘grows’ by accretion of facts. On the other hand, the opponents of temporal becoming are right in some of their claims, such as that tensed properties are relational, not intrinsic, and that tensed concepts are not basic in conceptual analysis. The discussion favours analysing temporal priority as a causal relation between spacetime points.

Keywords:   temporal becoming, tensed properties, temporal priority, spacetime points, counterfactuals

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