The Nature of Time
The theory of relativity convinced many philosophers that space and time are fundamentally alike, and that they are mere aspects of a more fundamental space-time. In The Nature of Time, Ulrich Meyer argues against this consensus view. Instead of a 'spatial' account of time that treats instants like positions in space, he presents the first comprehensive defense of a 'modal' account that emphasizes the similarities between times and the possible worlds in modal logic. Modal accounts of time are naturally cast in terms of a tense logic that accounts for temporal distinctions in terms of primitive tense operators. Tense logic was originally developed to provide a linguistic theory of verb tense in natural languages, but here Meyer proposes that it can be treated as a metaphysical theory of the nature of time. Contrary to popular belief, such modal accounts of time do not commit us to the view that there is something metaphysically special about the present moment, and they are easily reconciled with the theory of relativity.
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2 Relationism about time
3 Temporal substantivalism
4 Tense logic
6 Instants of time
7 Temporal structure
8 Time and existence
abstract actual world assignment axioms choice of reference claim coordinate systems defined earlier-than relation entities event-relationism existence fact false frame-independent growing block view individual constants instants language lightcone linguistic ersatzism located Lorentz transformations material objects maximal consistent sets metaphysically basic modal accounts modal logic modal operators modal theory modal views ontological participation philosophers physical theories possible present possible worlds postulate predicate presentists primitivists proposal propositional logic quantified tense logic question real numbers reference frame relationists sets of sentences simultaneity space spacetime points spatial and temporal spatial coordinates spatial manifold spatial relations spatial substantivalism spatial views speed of light Suppose symmetry temporal coordinate temporal distances temporal manifold temporal propositions temporal relations temporal substantivalism temporal substantivalists tense logic tense operators tense primitivism tense primitivists tense properties theorem theory of relativity tion trajectories true truth values truth-functional truthmaker untensed velocity