A Two-Dimensional Passage Model of Time for Time Travel
Meiland (Jack W.)
Source: Philosophical Studies, Vol. 26, No. 3/4 (Nov., 1974), pp. 153-173
Paper - Abstract

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Author’s Abstract

  1. Some philosophers have held that time travel of a certain type is logically impossible. The type of time travel in question is crudely exemplified by the following: the Time Traveller gets into his time machine, throws some switches, and is transported through time back to the time of the French Revolution. This variety of time travel was the basis of H. G. Wells' well-known and very popular novel The Time Machine, so I will call it 'Wellsian time travel'. Philosophers have given many different arguments for the logical impossibility of Wellsian time travel, some of them dependent on what these philosophers take to be the nature of time and others dependent on such things as the criteria of identity for persons.
  2. In this paper I want to develop a theory or a model of time which will handle at least some of the objections often raised to Wellsian time travel. This model is a passage model of time, that is, a model which allows motion through time.
  3. I will discuss the chief competitor of the passage theory - the so-called manifold theory - in Section 3. After stating the objections to Wellsian time travel and my reply to them in the form of my model of time, I will make some comments on the nature and purpose of such speculations about time, the possibility of changing the past, and the alleged paradoxical situations that are often said to be made possible by time travel.

  1. Introduction
  2. The Williams Objection
  3. An Alternative Account Of Putative Time Travel
  4. The Harrison Objection
  5. The Past As A Continuant
  6. The Reply To The Williams Objection
  7. Does Time Travel Take Time?
  8. The Relativity Of Past, Present, And Future
  9. Compound Temporal Designations
  10. The Fixed And Unchanging Character Of The Past On The Two-Dimensional Theory Of Time
  11. Changes In The Past
  12. Other Objections To Wellsian Time Travel And The Reply To Them

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