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Probability and Coincidence in Time Travel Scenarios

Johnson, Jack (2019) Probability and Coincidence in Time Travel Scenarios. [Preprint]

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Abstract

In this essay, I argue that certain classic time travel scenarios (e.g. a person travelling back into their recent past) are very improbable. This is, I argue, because the greater the disagreement between that which a scenario’s records imply happen during some period, and that which its dispositions imply happen during that same period, the more improbable the scenario is. I argue that the classic backwards time travel scenarios almost invariably involve systems and spacetime structures such that this disagreement is serious. In the course of defending these conclusions, I provide a precise definition of time travel scenarios, and engage in detailed discussion of the role objective chance and spacetime structure plays in determining the probability of the events (and specifically ‘coincidences’) required by time travel scenarios.


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Item Type: Preprint
Creators:
CreatorsEmailORCID
Johnson, Jackjack.johnson5150@outlook.com0000-0003-4609-2118
Keywords: time travel, probability, chance, spacetime, grandfather paradox
Subjects: Specific Sciences > Physics
Specific Sciences > Probability/Statistics
Specific Sciences > Physics > Relativity Theory
Depositing User: Mr Jack Johnson
Date Deposited: 08 Aug 2020 15:59
Last Modified: 08 Aug 2020 15:59
Item ID: 17695
Subjects: Specific Sciences > Physics
Specific Sciences > Probability/Statistics
Specific Sciences > Physics > Relativity Theory
Date: June 2019
URI: http://philsci-archive.pitt.edu/id/eprint/17695

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