The Metaphysics of Time

Michael Tooley

in The Arguments of Time

Published by British Academy

Published in print March 2006 | ISBN: 9780197263464
Published online February 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780191734748 | DOI:

Series: British Academy Centenary Monographs

The Metaphysics of Time

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This chapter maintains that the two broad positions in the temporal becoming debate are too broad; that is, each is a conjunction of metaphysical theses, and these are in general logically independent of each other. Furthermore, it notes that the truth ‘lies in the middle’. It argues for a temporal becoming in the sense that what facts are actual varies with time. And arguments relating to counterfactuals and to causation suggest that facts never cease to exist, so that actuality ‘grows’ by accretion of facts. On the other hand, the opponents of temporal becoming are right in some of their claims, such as that tensed properties are relational, not intrinsic, and that tensed concepts are not basic in conceptual analysis. The discussion favours analysing temporal priority as a causal relation between spacetime points.

Keywords: temporal becoming; tensed properties; temporal priority; spacetime points; counterfactuals

Chapter.  9991 words. 

Subjects: Philosophy

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