<!DOCTYPE html><HTML lang="en"> <head><meta charset="utf-8"> <title>Smith (Nicholas J.J.) - Bananas Enough for Time Travel? (Theo Todman's Book Collection - Paper Abstracts) </title> <link href="../../TheosStyle.css" rel="stylesheet" type="text/css"><link rel="shortcut icon" href="../../TT_ICO.png" /></head> <BODY> <CENTER> <div id="header"><HR><h1>Theo Todman's Web Page - Paper Abstracts</h1><HR></div><A name="Top"></A> <TABLE class = "Bridge" WIDTH=950> <tr><th><A HREF = "../../PaperSummaries/PaperSummary_20/PaperSummary_20914.htm">Bananas Enough for Time Travel?</A></th></tr> <tr><th><A HREF = "../../Authors/S/Author_Smith (Nicholas J.J.).htm">Smith (Nicholas J.J.)</a></th></tr> <tr><th>Source: The British Journal for the Philosophy of Science, Vol. 48, No. 3 (Sep., 1997), pp. 363-389</th></tr> <tr><th>Paper - Abstract</th></tr> </TABLE> </CENTER> <P><CENTER><TABLE class = "Bridge" WIDTH=800><tr><td><A HREF = "../../PaperSummaries/PaperSummary_20/PaperSummary_20914.htm">Paper Summary</A></td><td><A HREF = "../../PaperSummaries/PaperSummary_20/PaperCitings_20914.htm">Books / Papers Citing this Paper</A></td><td><A HREF = "../../PaperSummaries/PaperSummary_20/PapersToNotes_20914.htm">Notes Citing this Paper</A></td><td><A HREF="#ColourConventions">Text Colour-Conventions</a></td></tr></TABLE></CENTER></P> <hr><P><FONT COLOR = "0000FF"><U>Author s Abstract</U><FONT COLOR = "800080"><ol type="1"><li>This paper argues that the most famous objection to backward <a name="1"></a><A HREF="../../Notes/Notes_11/Notes_1133.htm">time travel</A><SUP>1</SUP> can carry no weight. In its classic form, the objection is that backward <a name="2"></a><A HREF="../../Notes/Notes_11/Notes_1133.htm">time travel</A><SUP>2</SUP> entails the occurrence of impossible things, such as auto-infanticide  and hence is itself impossible. </li><li>David Lewis has rebutted the classic version of the objection: auto-infanticide is prevented by coincidences, such as <a name="3"></a><A HREF="../../Notes/Notes_11/Notes_1133.htm">time travellers</A><SUP>3</SUP> slipping on banana peels as they attempt to murder their younger selves. </li><li>I focus on Paul Horwich's more recent version of the objection, according to which backward <a name="4"></a><A HREF="../../Notes/Notes_11/Notes_1133.htm">time travel</A><SUP>4</SUP> entails not impossible things, but improbable ones  such as the string of slips on banana peels that would be required to stop a determined auto-infanticidal maniac from murdering her younger self  and hence is itself highly improbable. </li><li>I argue that backward <a name="5"></a><A HREF="../../Notes/Notes_11/Notes_1133.htm">time travel</A><SUP>5</SUP> does not entail unusual numbers of coincidences; and that, even if it did, that would not render its occurrence unlikely. </li></ol> </FONT><BR><U>Sections</U><FONT COLOR = "800080"><ol type="1"><li>Introduction</li><li>Backward <a name="6"></a><A HREF="../../Notes/Notes_0/Notes_39.htm">causation</A><SUP>6</SUP> and changing the past</li><li>Lewis and Horwich</li><li>How often do coincidences occur?</li><li>Coincidences and backward <a name="7"></a><A HREF="../../Notes/Notes_11/Notes_1133.htm">time travel</A><SUP>7</SUP> I</li><li>Coincidences and backward <a name="8"></a><A HREF="../../Notes/Notes_11/Notes_1133.htm">time travel</A><SUP>8</SUP> II <ul type="disc"><li>6.1 Curiosity</li><li>6.2 Memory failure</li><li>6.3 Forcing coincidences</li><li>6.4 Backward <a name="9"></a><A HREF="../../Notes/Notes_11/Notes_1133.htm">time travel</A><SUP>9</SUP> without trying? </li></ul></li><li>Conclusion </li></ol> </FONT><FONT COLOR = "0000FF"><HR></P><a name="ColourConventions"></a><p><b>Text Colour Conventions (see <A HREF="../../Notes/Notes_10/Notes_1025.htm">disclaimer</a>)</b></p><OL TYPE="1"><LI><FONT COLOR = "0000FF">Blue</FONT>: Text by me; &copy; Theo Todman, 2018</li><LI><FONT COLOR = "800080">Mauve</FONT>: Text by correspondent(s) or other author(s); &copy; the author(s)</li></OL> <BR><HR><BR><CENTER> <TABLE class = "Bridge" WIDTH=950> <TR><TD WIDTH="30%">&copy; Theo Todman, June 2007 - August 2018.</TD> <TD WIDTH="40%">Please address any comments on this page to <A HREF="mailto:theo@theotodman.com">theo@theotodman.com</A>.</TD> <TD WIDTH="30%">File output: <time datetime="2018-08-02T09:28" pubdate>02/08/2018 09:28:09</time> <br><A HREF="../../Notes/Notes_10/Notes_1010.htm">Website Maintenance Dashboard</A></TD></TR> <TD WIDTH="30%"><A HREF="#Top">Return to Top of this Page</A></TD> <TD WIDTH="40%"><A HREF="../../Notes/Notes_11/Notes_1140.htm">Return to Theo Todman's Philosophy Page</A></TD> <TD WIDTH="30%"><A HREF="../../index.htm">Return to Theo Todman's Home Page</A></TD> </TR></TABLE></CENTER><HR> </BODY> </HTML>