The Philosophy of Time

Summer 2016, Konstanz

Time: 10:00-11:30 Wednesdays
Place: G 306
URL: http://michaelde.com/teaching/philoftime/philoftime.html
Office hours: By appointment
Email: mikejde@gmail.com

Description

What does it mean to persist, to exist from one time to another while undergoing change? Is the future open or indeterminate, and if so, how? Is tense a primitive, ineliminable notion? Is time travel possible, or does the idea face insuperable difficulties? In answering these questions and more, we will look at competing views about

For each of the topics we will look at seminal essays from each side of the debate to gain a fair perspective on the relevant issues.

Prerequisites: None
Evaluation: Four small essays each approximately 2000-2500 words and worth 25% of the final grade
Texts: A selection of journal articles and book excerpts

Readings

Do the readings in the order that they appear.

20.04 (Week 2, Introductory material) : Ned Markosian, Time, Stanford Encylopedia of Philosophy

27.04 (Week 3, Perdurance vs endurance) :

  1. David Lewis, On the plurality of worlds, Blackwell, pp. 202-204
  2. E. J. Lowe, Lewis on perdurance versus endurance, Analysis, vol. 47 (no. 3), 1987, pp. 152-154
  3. David Lewis, Rearrangement of particles: Reply to Lowe, Analysis, vol. 48 (no. 2), 1988, pp. 65-72
  4. Sally Haslanger, Endurance and temporary intrinsics, Analysis, vol. 49 (no. 3), 1989, pp. 119-125

04.05 (moved to 11.05 at 11:45) (Week 4, Perdurance vs endurance continued) :

  1. David Lewis, Tensing the copula, Mind, vol. 111 (no. 441), 2002, pp. 1-12. [If you wish, omit pp. 9-10 of section 5.]
  2. Theodore Sider, The stage view and temporary intrinsics, Analysis, vol. 60 (no. 1), 2002, pp. 84-88

11.05 (moved to 18.05 at 11:45) (Week 5, The open future) :

  1. Stephen Torre, The open future, Philosophy Compass, vol. 6 (no. 5), 2011, pp. 360-373
  2. Robert P. McArthur, Factuality and modality in the future tense, Nous, vol. 8 (no. 3), 1974, pp. 283-288

25.05 (10:00) (Week 6, The open future continued) : John MacFarlane, Future contingents and relative truth, The Philosophical Quarterly, vol. 53 (no. 212), 2003, pp. 321-336

25.05 (11:45 in G 227a) (Week 6, Time travel) : David Lewis, The paradoxes of time travel, American Philosophical Quarterly, vol. 13 (no. 2), 1976, pp. 145-152

01.06 (Week 7, Time travel continued) : Peter B. M. Vranas, Can I kill my younger self? Time travel and the retrosuicide paradox, Pacific Philosophical Quarterly, vol. 90 (no. 4), 2009, pp. 520-534

08.06 (Week 8, Time travel continued) : Paul Horwich, On some alleged paradoxes of time travel, The Journal of Philosophy, vol. 72 (no. 14), 1975, pp. 432-444

15.06 (Week 9, Presentism) : John Bigelow, Presentism and properties, Philosophical Perspectives, vol. 10, 1996, pp. 35-52

22.06 (Week 10, Presentism continued) : Ned Markosian, A defense of presentism, in Oxford Studies in Metaphysics Vol. 1, Oxford University Press, 2004

29.06 (Week 11, Presentism continued) : Ulrich Meyer, The presentist's dilemma, Philosophical Studies, vol. 122 (no. 3), 2005, pp. 213-225

06.07 (Week 12, Presentism continued) : Steven Savitt, Presentism and eternalism in perspective, in The Ontology of Spacetime Vol. 1 (editor Dennis Dieks), Elsevier, 2006, pp. 111-127

13.07 (Week 13, Grand Finale!) : J. Ellis McTaggart, The unreality of time, Mind, vol. 17 (no. 68), 1908, pp. 457-474

Slides

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Essays