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Haslanger, Sally, and . Persistence Through Time

2003, In Michael J. Loux & Dean W. Zimmerman (eds.), The Oxford Handbook of Metaphysics. Oxford University Press, 315-354.

Introduction: Things change: objects come into existence, last for a while, go out of existence, move through space, change their parts, change their qualities, change in their relations to things. All this would seem to be uncontroversial. But philosophical attention to any of these phenomena can generate perplexity and has resulted in a number of long-standing puzzles. One of the most famous puzzles about change threatens to demonstrate that nothing can persist through time, that all existence is momentary at best. Let’s use the term ‘alteration’ for the sort of change that occurs when a persisting object changes its properties.

Comment: A good overview of the philosophical issues involved in persistence through time. Would be a good preliminary material in a philosophy of time course. Or, since this is a fundamental philosophical problem, could be used in an introduction to philosophy course as a more clear alternative or supplement to ancient sources.

Thomson, Judith Jarvis, and . McTaggart on Time

2001, Noûs 35(s15): 229-252.

Introduction: McTaggart’s argument for the conclusion that time does not exist is notoriously hard to understand. C. D. Broad says that when properly interpreted, its main part can be seen to be “a philosophical ‘howler’.”  Others see things in it that they regard as true and important, or if not true, then anyway important. But I have not seen any interpretation of it that seems to me to get it exactly right. And I think that it pays to get it right: there are lessons to be learned from consideration of what goes on in it. By way of reminder, McTaggart’s argument has two parts. The first part aims at the conclusion that time does not exist unless the A series exists. The second part aims at the conclusion that the A series does not exist. It follows that time does not exist

Comment: One of the clearest statements of McTaggart's argument about time; the interpretation is well-argued for. Very helpful as an aid to comprehension if McTaggart's argument is taught, as it usually would be in any examination of philosophy of time.