Making Sense of the Growing Block View
Deng (Natalja)
Source: Philosophia; September 2017, Volume 45, Issue 3, pp 1113–1127
Paper - Abstract

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Author’s Abstract

  1. In this paper, I try to make sense of the growing block view using Kit Fine’s three-fold classification of A-theoretic views of time.
  2. I begin by motivating the endeavor of making sense of the growing block view by examining John Earman’s project in ‘Reassessing the prospects for a growing block model of the universe’ (section 2).
  3. Next, I review Fine’s reconstruction of McTaggart’s argument and its accompanying three-fold classification of A-theoretic views (section 3).
  4. I then consider three interpretations of Earman’s growing block model: the hybrid growing block (section 4), the purely tensed growing block (section 5), and Michael Tooley’s growing block (section 6). I argue for three claims.
    1. First, Finean ‘standard’ versions of these views are less congenial to the growing blocker than ‘non-standard’ ones.
    2. Second, the hybrid view is problematic on either version.
    3. And third, ‘non-standard’ versions are not fully intelligible.
  5. I provide further support for the first and third of these claims and explain why I take them to support a minimal account of passage as succession, which undercuts some of the motivation for Earman’s project (section 7).
  6. Lastly, I answer three objections (section 8).


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