Chapter

A Century of Time

J. R. Lucas

in The Arguments of Time

Published by British Academy

Published in print March 2006 | ISBN: 9780197263464
Published online February 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780191734748 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.5871/bacad/9780197263464.003.0001

Series: British Academy Centenary Monographs

A Century of Time

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This chapter argues for the position of temporal becoming across a wide variety of fields. The chapter's central sections address successively the metaphysics, physics and logic of time. It rebuts McTaggart's argument that temporal becoming involves a contradiction. It admits that special relativity's frame — dependence of simultaneity is inimical to temporal becoming. However it also argues that temporal becoming is rehabilitated both by general relativity's allowance of cosmic time functions and, more fundamentally, by the collapse of the wave-packet in quantum theory. Finally, the discussion considers the logic of time, especially tense logic, and applies this to recent cosmological speculation about the Big Bang and more generally to the idea of the beginning of time.

Keywords: metaphysics; physics; time logic; temporal becoming; special relativity; tense logic; Big Bang

Chapter.  8864 words. 

Subjects: Philosophy

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