Chapter

Temporally Relative Facts and the Argument from Preventability

Michael Tooley

in Time, Tense, and Causation

Published in print September 2000 | ISBN: 9780198250746
Published online November 2003 | e-ISBN: 9780191598623 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/0198250746.003.0004
 Temporally Relative Facts and the Argument from Preventability

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Discusses an argument from preventability to the effect that the past and the present are real, while the future is not. The argument draws on an analysis of ‘It is a fact that p at time t’ as ‘p, and it is logically impossible for there to exist anyone who would have been able, at t, to prevent it from being the case that p’. However, there are two strong objections to the argument from preventability, one relating to backward causation and causal loops, and one relating to the truth conditions for subjunctive conditionals.

Keywords: backward causation; causal loops; causation; preventability; subjunctive conditionals

Chapter.  12399 words. 

Subjects: Metaphysics

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