Objective Becoming
Skow (Bradford)
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Amazon Book Description

  1. Bradford Skow presents an original defense of the 'block universe' theory of time, often said to be a theory according to which time does not pass. Along the way, he provides in-depth discussions of alternative theories of time, including those in which there is 'robust passage' of time or 'objective becoming': presentism, the moving spotlight theory of time, the growing block theory of time, and the 'branching time' theory of time.
  2. Skow explains why the moving spotlight theory is the best of these arguments, and rebuts several popular arguments against the thesis that time passes.
  3. He surveys the problems that the special theory of relativity has been thought to raise for objective becoming, and suggests ways in which fans of objective becoming may reconcile their view with relativistic physics.
  4. The last third of the book aims to clarify and evaluate the argument that we should believe that time passes because, somehow, the passage of time is given to us in experience. He isolates three separate arguments this idea suggests, and explains why they fail.
  5. Back Cover Review: this is a terrific book. It is thorough, argumentative, philosophically sophisticated, scientifically informed, rigorous, and creative. Skow has done more than anyone to elucidate and critique the moving spotlight view, and in the end I think he comes to the right conclusions. Anybody who pays this book serious attention will be rewarded with deep insight into most of the major issues in the philosophy of time. Perhaps most impressively, Skow manages to provide his reader with a good introduction to the issues at hand while developing advanced arguments that push the state of the debate forward in interesting and fruitful directions. This is an impressive work that deserves to be widely read.
    → Joshua Mozersky, Metascience

    List of Figures
  1. Introduction: Time Passes?
  2. The Block Universe
    → 2.1 Spacetime
    → 2.2 The Picture and the Theory
    → 2.3 The Denial of Passage
    → 2.4 Appendix: What the Block Universe Theory is Not
    → 2.5 Appendix: Other Versions of Reductionism about Tense
  3. What Might Robust Passage Be?
    → 3.1 Passage and "Real Change"
    → 3.2 Presentism
    → 3.3 Passage and Presentism
    → 3.4 Two Metaphors for Passage
    → 3.5 Appendix: More on Passage and Presentism
  4. The Moving Spotlight
    → 4.1 Can Time Itself Move or Flow?
    → 4.2 The Moving Spotlight via Supertense
    → 4.3 The Moving Spotlight via Temporal Perspectives
    → 4.4 Appendix: MST-Time with Absolute Presentness
    → 4.5 Appendix: MST-Time and Semantic Relativism
  5. Growing Blocks and Branching Times
    → 5.1 Two More Theories of Robust Passage
    → 5.2 The Open Future
    → 5.3 Appendix: A Remark on the Structure of Theories of Time
  6. The Moving Spotlight Theory is Consistent
    → 6.1 The Nuclear Option
    → 6.2 McTaggart
    → 6.3 McTaggart Redux: Smith
    → 6.4 McTaggart Redux: Mellor
    → 6.5 McTaggart Redux: Van Cleve
  7. How Fast Does Time Pass?
    → 7.1 An Unanswerable Question?
    → 7.2 Changes without Rates of Change
    → 7.3 Seconds and Superseconds
    → 7.4 Arguments from Dimensional Analysis
    → 7.5 Odds and Ends
  8. The Challenge from Relativity
    → 8.1 Time in Minkowski Spacetime
    → 8.2 Preview
    → 8.3 Inconsistency
  9. Relativity and the Passage of Time
    → 9.1 Neo-classical Spotlight Theories, I
    → 9.2 Further Notes on Type-N Theories
    → 9.3 Neo-classical Spotlight Theories, II
    → 9.4 Superspacetime Theories
    → 9.5 Beyond Special Relativity
    → 9.6 Appendix: Spatially Extended Presents without Underdetermination
    → 9.7 Appendix: Relativity and the Block Universe
  10. Can We Move through Time?
    → 10.1 Making Sense of the Idea
    → 10.2 Moving through Time and Persisting through Time
    → 10.3 Evaluating the Theory
  11. Passage and Experience, I
    → 11.1 Arguing for Robust Passage
    → 11.2 The Argument from the Content of Experience, I
    → 11.3 The Argument from the Content of Experience, II
    → 11.4 The Argument from the Phenomenal Character of Experience
  12. Passage and Experience, II
    → 12.1 The Argument from the Presented Experience
    → 12.2 Spotlight vs. Spotlight
    → 12.3 Accepting Availability
    → 12.4 Evaluating the Options
    → 12.5 Appendix: Availability without the Stage Theory?
    → 12.6 Appendix: Thank Goodness That's Over
  13. Concluding Thoughts: Passage and Time-biased Preferences


Oxford University Press; Reprint edition (10 Jan. 2017)

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