The Coincidences of Time Travel
Dowe (Phil)
Source: Philosophy of Science, Vol. 70, No. 3 (July 2003), pp. 574-589
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Author’s Abstract

  1. In this paper I consider two objections raised by Nick Smith (1997) to an argument against the probability of time travel given by Paul Horwich (1995, 1987). Horwich argues that time travel leads to inexplicable and improbable coincidences.
  2. I argue that one of Smith’s objections fails, but that another is correct. I also consider an instructive way to defend Horwich’s argument against the second of Smith’s objections, but show that it too fails.
  3. I conclude that unless there is something faulty in the conception of explanation implicit in Horwich’s argument, time travel presents us with nothing that is inexplicable.

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