∆-Wikipedia -Problems with Time entries

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Problems with various common ‘philosophies of Time’.

The Wikipedia page “Philosophy of space and time” provides an excellent list, and summary, of the more seriously considered ‘philosophies’ as to what ‘Time’ may be, and how it may be related to space. 

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Philosophy_of_space_and_time - Dualities

The essence of my  work here, and in the eBook and talks etc, is to point out that instead of a thing called time existing, perhaps, things in the universe just move and change, always doing so here, always doing so ‘now’ – but not ‘now’ in the sense of it being a time, or being ‘between other times’ – just now.

I believe every one of the theories/philosophies ‘about time’ as outlined on this Wikipedia page, for example, can be shown to be moot, and fall completely apart at it’s core,  if we consider that we do not have any valid reason to even suspect things called ‘the past’, or ‘time’, exist.

Some of the main philosophies listed on the Wiki page “Philosophy of space and time” (and links from it) are listed here, along with my reasons why each point may be unfounded are as follows...

( the imbedded text is as on the Wikipedia page)

Problems with various common ‘philosophies of Time’.

Absolutism and relationalism

Realism and anti-realism

Immanuel Kant

The direction of time

The flow of time

Presentism and Eternalism

Endurantism and perdurantism

Eternalism (philosophy of time)

Presentism (philosophy of time)

Change

Problem of change

 

Absolutism and relationalism

Leibniz and Newton

The great debate between defining notions of space and time as real objects themselves (absolute), or whether they are merely orderings upon actual objects (relational), began between physicists Isaac Newton (via his spokesman, Samuel Clarke) and Gottfried Leibniz in the papers of the Leibniz-Clarke correspondence.

 

 

Realism and anti-realism

A traditional realist position in ontology is that time and space have existence apart from the human mind. Idealists deny or doubt the existence of objects independent of the mind. Some anti-realists whose ontological position is that objects outside the mind do exist, nevertheless doubt the independent existence of time and space.

Immanuel Kant

In 1788, Immanuel Kant published the Critique of Pure Reason, one of the most influential works in the history of the philosophy of space and time. He describes time as an a priori notion that, together with other a priori notions such as space, allows us to comprehend sense experience.

   The direction of time

The problem of the direction of time arises directly from two contradictory facts. Firstly, the fundamental physical laws are time-reversal invariant; if a cinematographic film were taken of any process describable by means of the aforementioned laws and then played backwards, it would still portray a physically possible process. Secondly, our experience of time, at the macroscopic level, is not time-reversal invariant.[8] Glasses can fall and break, however shards of glass cannot reassemble and fly up onto tables. We have memories of the past, and none of the future. We feel we can't change the past but can influence the future.

The causation solution

One solution to this problem takes a metaphysical view, in which the direction of time follows from an asymmetry of causation. We know more about the past because the elements of the past are causes for the effect that is our perception. We feel we can't affect the past and can affect the future because we can't affect the past and can affect the future.

The flow of time

The problem of the flow of time, as it has been treated in analytic philosophy, owes its beginning to a paper written by J. M. E. McTaggart. In this paper McTaggart proposes two "temporal series". The first series, which means to account for our intuitions about temporal becoming, or the moving Now, is called the A-series. The A-series orders events according to their being in the past, present or future, simpliciter and in comparison to each other. The B-series eliminates all reference to the present, and the associated temporal modalities of past and future, and orders all events by the temporal relations earlier than and later than.

McTaggart, in his paper The Unreality of Time, argues that time is unreal since a) the A-series is inconsistent and b) the B-series alone cannot account for the nature of time as the A-series describes an essential feature of it.

Building from this framework, two camps of solution have been offered. The first, the A-theorist solution, takes becoming as the central feature of time, and tries to construct the B-series from the A-series by offering an account of how B-facts come to be out of A-facts. The second camp, the B-theorist solution, takes as decisive McTaggart's arguments against the A-series and tries to construct the A-series out of the B-series, for example, by temporal indexicals.

Presentism and Eternalism

Main articles: Presentism (philosophy of time) and Eternalism (philosophy of time)

According to Presentism, time is an ordering of various realities. At a certain time some things exist and others do not. This is the only reality we can deal with and we cannot for example say that Homer exists because at the present time he does not. An Eternalist, on the other hand, holds that time is a dimension of reality on a par with the three spatial dimensions, and hence that all things—past present and future—can be said to be just as real as things in the present are. According to this theory, then, Homer really does exist, though we must still use special language when talking about somebody who exists at a distant time—just as we would use special language when talking about something a long way away (the very words near, far, above, below, over there, and such are directly comparable to phrases such as in the past, a minute ago, and so on).

Endurantism and perdurantism

Main articles: Endurantism and Perdurantism

The positions on the persistence of objects are somewhat similar. An endurantist holds that for an object to persist through time is for it to exist completely at different times (each instance of existence we can regard as somehow separate from previous and future instances, though still numerically identical with them). A perdurantist on the other hand holds that for a thing to exist through time is for it to exist as a continuous reality, and that when we consider the thing as a whole we must consider an aggregate of all its "temporal parts" or instances of existing. Endurantism is seen as the conventional view and flows out of our pre-philosophical ideas (when I talk to somebody I think I am talking to that person as a complete object, and not just a part of a cross-temporal being), but perdurantists have attacked this position. (An example of a perdurantist is David Lewis.) One argument perdurantists use to state the superiority of their view is that perdurantism is able to take account of change in objects.

The relations between these two questions mean that on the whole Presentists are also endurantists and Eternalists are also perdurantists (and vice versa), but this is not a necessary connection and it is possible to claim, for instance, that time's passage indicates a series of ordered realities, but that objects within these realities somehow exist outside of the reality as a whole, even though the realities as wholes are not related. However, such positions are rarely adopted.

Eternalism (philosophy of time)

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Eternalism is a philosophical approach to the ontological nature of time, which takes the view that all points in time are equally "real", as opposed to the presentist idea that only the present is real.[1] Modern advocates often take inspiration from the way time is modeled as a dimension in the theory of relativity, giving time a similar ontology to that of space (although the basic idea dates back at least to McTaggart's B-Theory of time, first published in The Unreality of Time in 1908, only three years after the first paper on relativity). This would mean that time is just another dimension, that future events are "already there", and that there is no objective flow of time. It is sometimes referred to as the "block time" or "block universe" theory due to its description of space-time as an unchanging four-dimensional "block",[2] as opposed to the view of the world as a three-dimensional space modulated by the passage of time.

Presentism (philosophy of time)

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Presentism is the philosophical doctrine that only events and entities—and, in some versions of presentism, timeless objects or ideas like numbers and sets—that occur in the present exist. According to presentism, events and entities that are wholly past or wholly future do not exist at all. Presentism contrasts with eternalism and the growing block theory of time, which hold that past events, like the Battle of Waterloo, and past entities, like Alexander the Great's warhorse Bucephalus, really do exist, though not in the present (eternalism, but not growing block theory, extends this to future events as well).

Saint Augustine proposed that the present is a knife edge between the past and the future and could not contain any extended period of time. This seems evident because, if the present is extended, it must have separate parts – but these must be simultaneous if they are truly part of the present. According to early philosophers, time cannot be both past and simultaneously present, so it is not extended.

Change

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Identity_and_change - Change

When an object changes, it always changes in some particular way. A baby grows up, and so changes in respect of size and maturity; a snake sheds its skin, and so changes in respect of its skin. "Change" may therefore be defined as follows:

An object, O, changes with respect to property, P, if and only if O has P at one time, and at a later time, O does not have P.

That seems to be, in one way, what it means for a thing to change: it has a property at one time, and later it does not have that property. If a banana becomes brown, it can then be said: at one time, the banana is yellow; several days later, the banana is not yellow, but is instead brown. This appears fairly straightforward at this point, and there are no apparent problems as yet.

Another way for an object to change is to change its parts.

An object, O, changes with respect to its part, P, if and only if O has the part P at one time, and at a later time, O does not have P.

Some philosophers believe that an object can't persist through a change of parts. They defend mereological essentialism.[1]

Problem of change

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Identity_and_change - Problem_of_change

The question then arises as to what sort of change happens after a thing is destroyed? When a person dies, one does not say that the person's life has changed. Neither does one go around saying, "Harry just isn't the same sort of guy since he died." Instead, one says that Harry's life has ended. Similarly, when a building is demolished, one does not say that the building 'changes'; one says that it is destroyed. So what sort of events, on the one hand, result in a mere change, and what sort of events, on the other hand, result in a thing's destruction — in the state of its existence? This is one aspect of the problem that will be considered here. It is called "the problem of change and identity".

 

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