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Special Relativity and the Future: A Defense of the Point Present

Harrington, James (2005) Special Relativity and the Future: A Defense of the Point Present. [Preprint]

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    In this paper, I defend a theory of local temporality, sometimes referred to as a point-present theory. This theory has the great advantage that it allows for the possibility of an open future without requiring any alterations to our standard understanding of special relativity. Such theories, however, have regularly been rejected out of hand as metaphysically incoherent. After surveying the debate, I argue that such a transformation of temporal concepts (i) is suggested by the indexical semantics of tense in a relativistic universe, (ii) when properly understood easily withstands the usual accusations of metaphysical incoherence and (iii) leads naturally to a meta-philosophical position from which we can understand and escape the increasing sterility of debates between radical Parmenideans and radical Heracliteans in the philosophy of time.

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    Item Type: Preprint
    Keywords: time, temporality, indeterminacy, tense, special relativity
    Subjects: Specific Sciences > Physics > Relativity Theory
    Specific Sciences > Physics
    General Issues > Determinism/Indeterminism
    Depositing User: JAMES HARRINGTON
    Date Deposited: 09 Aug 2005
    Last Modified: 07 Oct 2010 11:13
    Item ID: 2139

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