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Fernandes, Alison, , . Freedom, Self-Prediction, and the Possibility of Time Travel
2019, Philosophical Studies
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Added by: Simon Fokt, Contributed by: Alison Fernandes

Abstract: Do time travellers retain their normal freedom and abilities when they travel back in time? Lewis, Horwich and Sider argue that they do. Time-travelling Tim can kill his young grandfather, his younger self, or whomever else he pleases—and so, it seems can reasonably deliberate about whether to do these things. He might not succeed. But he is still just as free as a non-time traveller. I-ll disagree. The freedom of time travellers is limited by a rational constraint. Tim can-t reasonably deliberate on killing his grandfather, certain that he-ll fail. If Tim follows his evidence, and appropriately self-predicts, he will be certain he won-t kill his grandfather. So if Tim is both evidentially and deliberatively rational, he can-t deliberate on killing his grandfather. This result has consequences. Firstly, it shows how evidential limits in the actual world contribute to our conception of the future as open. Secondly, it undercuts arguments against the possibility of time travel. Thirdly, it affects how we evaluate counterfactuals in time travel worlds, as well as our own. I-ll use the constraint to motivate an evidential and temporally neutral method of evaluating counterfactuals that holds fixed what a relevant deliberating agent has evidence of, independently of her decision. Using this method, an agent-s local abilities may be affected by what happens globally at other times, including the future.

Comment: Useful for debate about the grandfather paradox, and whether time travel may inhibit our freedom. High-undergradaute to graduate level. Best read following David Lewis’ The Paradoxes of Time Travel’. Could be read alongside work by Kadri Vihvelin (‘What time travelers cannot do.’) and Ted Sider (‘Time travel, coincidences and counterfactuals’) on time travel. Would also be useful for discussions about deliberation and ‘epistemic freedom’.

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Kachi, Daisuke, , . Do time travelers suffer from paradoxes?
2009, Annals of the Japan Association for Philosophy of Science 15(2): 95-98.
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Added by: Laura Jimenez, Contributed by:

Abstract: In this paper I give consideration to some apparent impossibilities for the time travelers to the past. After criticizing the views of D. Lewis and K. Vihvelin, I will show in what sense they are really impossible.

Comment: Really introductory and short paper. It focuses on three issues: changing the past, autofanticide, and autoparenthood. Recommended as an introductory and basic reading for undergraduate students.

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Miller, Kristie, , . Is Some Backwards Time Travel Inexplicable?
2017, American Philosophical Quarterly 54(2)): 131-141.
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Added by: Emily Paul, Contributed by:

Abstract: It has been suggested that there is something worrisome, puzzling, or incomprehensible about the sorts of causal loops sometimes involved in backwards time travel. This paper disentangles two distinct puzzles and evaluates whether they provide us reason to find backwards time travel incomprehensible, inexplicable, or otherwise worrisome. The paper argues that they provide no such reason.

Comment: This could be useful for an advanced UG or an MA course where Time Travel has already been taught. It’s a good one to motivate the thought that time travel is metaphysically possible!

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Miller, Kristie, , . Time Travel and the Open Future
2005, Disputatio 19(1): 223-232.
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Added by: Emily Paul, Contributed by:

Abstract: In this paper, I argue that the thesis that time travel is logically possible, is inconsistent with the necessary truth of any of the usual ‘open future objective present’ models of the universe. It has been relatively uncontroversial until recently to hold that presentism is inconsistent with the possibility of time travel. I argue that recent arguments to the contrary do not show that presentism is consistent with time travel. Moreover, the necessary truth of other open future-objective present models which we might, prima facie, have supposed to be more amenable to the possibility of time travel, turn out also to be inconsistent with this possibility.

Comment: A nice, short paper that could be a good bridge between teaching Metaphysics of Time and Metaphysics of Time Travel. It would be good to have already taught A-theory vs B Theory first, as well as specific versions of the A theory (although the paper does also give a good overview of some of these).

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