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Objective Time Flow

Storrs McCall
Philosophy of Science
Vol. 43, No. 3 (Sep., 1976), pp. 337-362
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/187230
Page Count: 26
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Objective Time Flow
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Abstract

A theory of temporal passage is put forward which is "objective" in the sense that time flow characterizes the universe independently of the existence of conscious beings. The theory differs from Grunbaum's "mind-dependence" theory, and is designed to avoid Grunbaum's criticisms of an earlier theory of Reichenbach's. The representation of temporal becoming is accomplished by the introduction of indeterministic universe-models; each model representing the universe at a time. The models depict the past as a single four-dimensional manifold, and the future as a branched structure of such manifolds. Time flow is relativistic in that it manifests itself in a frame-dependent (but not observer-dependent) way. The indeterministic character of the universe-models is mirrored in a "temporal" theory of truth which rejects the principle of bivalence, and suitable semantics are provided for this theory. Finally, an account of physical law is given which defines it in terms of physical possibility, rather than vice versa.

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