The Reality of Time

Richard Cross

in The Physics of Duns Scotus

Published in print November 1998 | ISBN: 9780198269748
Published online October 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780191683787 | DOI:
The Reality of Time

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This chapter discusses the strengths and weaknesses of Scotus's account on time. Firstly, Scotus's account of angelic motion provides him with the tools to give an account of the flowing now principle. Secondly, Scotus's account of H-unity allows him to give a clear account of the unity of time. Thirdly, Scotus's use of the medieval distinction between permanence and succession allows him to get closer than Aristotle to a distinction between A- and B-series time. Lastly, Scotus sees the desirability of modal reductionism over any more straight forward reductionism. This allows him to avoid the concept of Newton's absolute time, and Aristotle's identification of time from the actual rotation of the outermost heavenly sphere. The main limitations of his account includes the reduction of time to the B-series, and the obscure medieval concepts of the aevum and evieternity to explain the temporality of permanent items.

Keywords: aevum; evieternity; A-series; B-series; angelic motion; flowing now; reduction of time; absolute time; modal reductionism

Chapter.  7978 words. 

Subjects: Philosophy of Religion

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