Chapter

Temporal Asymmetries

Bede Rundle

in Time, Space, and Metaphysics

Published in print October 2009 | ISBN: 9780199575114
Published online February 2010 | e-ISBN: 9780191722349 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199575114.003.0009
Temporal Asymmetries

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A number of issues relating to time involve questions of possible asymmetry between past, present, and future. An example is given with matters concerning infinity: Could the universe extend infinitely into the future? Could it extend infinitely far back into the past? Bound up with the latter is the question of whether it makes sense to speak of a beginning of the universe. Another asymmetry concerns causation: must this always be from past or present to future, or can there be backwards causation? After an examination of the causal relation more generally, this question is answered in the negative. Time travel raises much the same issues as does backwards causation, and here too it is held that we do not have a real possibility.

Keywords: infinity; causation; beginning; past; future; time travel

Chapter.  13582 words. 

Subjects: Metaphysics

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