PhilSci Archive

A New Perspective On Time And Physical Laws

James, Lucy (2020) A New Perspective On Time And Physical Laws. [Preprint]

[img]
Preview
Text
BJPS Final Draft.pdf

Download (634kB) | Preview

Abstract

Callender claims that `time is the great informer' (Callender 2017, chapter 7), meaning that the direction(s) in which our `best' physical theories inform are temporal. This is intended to be a metaphysical claim, and as such expresses a relationship between the physical world and information-gathering systems such as ourselves. This paper gives two counterexamples to this claim, illustrating the fact that time and informative strength doubly dissociate, so the claim cannot be about physical theories in general. The first is a case where physical theories inform in directions that we have no reason to regard as temporal. The second is a case where our best physical theories fail to inform in directions that we have independent (pre-theoretic) reasons to regard as temporal. Taking these two cases into account suggests that the connection Callender makes between time and informativeness is perspectival. The second case demonstrates that, although scientists often seek information in temporal directions, the behaviour of the physical world can present serious difficulties for finding it. In response, this paper proposes a perspectival reading of Callender's claim, according to which the connection between time and informative strength has more to do with the aims and objectives of science than the workings of the physical world.


Export/Citation: EndNote | BibTeX | Dublin Core | ASCII/Text Citation (Chicago) | HTML Citation | OpenURL
Social Networking:
Share |

Item Type: Preprint
Creators:
CreatorsEmailORCID
James, Lucylucy.james@bristol.ac.uk
Keywords: Time, Informative strength, Better best systems, Cauchy problems
Subjects: General Issues > Scientific Metaphysics
Specific Sciences > Physics > Classical Physics
General Issues > Laws of Nature
Depositing User: Miss Lucy James
Date Deposited: 24 Apr 2020 21:23
Last Modified: 24 Apr 2020 21:23
Item ID: 17107
Subjects: General Issues > Scientific Metaphysics
Specific Sciences > Physics > Classical Physics
General Issues > Laws of Nature
Date: 22 April 2020
URI: http://philsci-archive.pitt.edu/id/eprint/17107

Monthly Views for the past 3 years

Monthly Downloads for the past 3 years

Plum Analytics

Actions (login required)

View Item View Item