Chapter

Time and Change

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/9780199575114.003.0011
Time and Change

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Whether there can be time without change is a contentious issue. It subdivides into two questions: whether there can be time in a universe totally devoid of change, and whether there can be temporal vacua — intervals during which there is no change. The former possibility is ruled out, and the latter is investigated by considering an argument in its favour due to Shoemaker. It appears from the considerations advanced that the reasonableness of speaking of a temporal vacuum can be cogently defended, but not to the point that we can actually affirm the indispensability of change. Given that there is no observational difference between the hypothesis of empty time and the supposition of its non-actuality, it is concluded that we can opt for either possibility without fear of refutation. The pattern of argument behind this conclusion is examined further.

Keywords: change; time; vacuum; Shoemaker; temporal vacua

Chapter.  11094 words. 

Subjects: Metaphysics

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