Why Would Time Travelers Try To Kill Their Younger Selves?
Smith (Nicholas J.J.)
Source: Monist, July 2005, Vol. 88 Issue 3, p388-395, 8p
Paper - Abstract

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Author’s Introduction1

  1. In this note I raise a new problem for backwards time travel2, and make some first suggestions as to how it might be solved. I call it the motivation problem.
  2. It is not a logical or a metaphysical problem, but a psychological one. It does not impact upon the possibility, or even the likelihood, of backwards time travel3. Yet it is deeply puzzling, and we will have no idea what time travel4 would actually be like until we explore it.
  3. Thus, where other problems for backward time travel5 assume that we know what time travel6 would be like, and argue that we cannot have it, this new problem gives us no reason to think that we cannot have time travel7, but argues that we have much less idea than we usually suppose about what it would really be like to travel back in time.

In-Page Footnotes

Footnote 1: I had what looked like an Abstract, but it peters out and isn’t taken from the text:-
  1. The article explains why time travelers would try to kill their younger selves on backwards time travel.
  2. The time traveler might deliberate in the usual way and have all the normal feelings of agency that people usually have when deciding what to do and doing it, and might at the same time clearly remember that encounter in which people are engaged.

Text Colour Conventions (see disclaimer)

  1. Blue: Text by me; © Theo Todman, 2019
  2. Mauve: Text by correspondent(s) or other author(s); © the author(s)

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