Full text
Miller, Kristie. Backwards Causation, Time, and the Open Future
2008, Metaphysica 9(2): 173-191.
Expand entry
Added by: Emily Paul

Abstract: Here are some intuitions we have about the nature of space and time. There is something fundamentally different about the past, present, and future. What is definitive of the past is that the past events are fixed. What is definitive of the future is that future events are not fixed. What is definitive of the present is that it marks the objective ontological border between the past and the future and, by doing so, instantiates a particularly salient phenomenological property of nowness. Call the combination of these intuitions according to which there exists an objective present, a fixed past, and an open future, the intuitive view. I argue that, given the intuitive view, the possibility of backwards causation – and hence, for instance, backwards time travel – is problematic.

Comment: A nice paper to use near the start of a Philosophy of Time course, or in a Metaphysics course before introducing backwards causation and time travel. This is because it gives a good motivation of the 'common sense' view, so it could be good to get clear on this and what it can entail.

Export citation in BibTeX format
Export text citation
View this text on PhilPapers
Export citation in Reference Manager format
Export citation in EndNote format
Export citation in Zotero format
Share on Twitter Share on Facebook Share on Google Plus Share on Pinterest Share by Email More options
Full text Read free
Miller, Kristie. Time Travel and the Open Future
2005, Disputatio 19(1): 223-232.
Expand entry
Added by: Emily Paul

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).

Export citation in BibTeX format
Export text citation
View this text on PhilPapers
Export citation in Reference Manager format
Export citation in EndNote format
Export citation in Zotero format
Share on Twitter Share on Facebook Share on Google Plus Share on Pinterest Share by Email More options
Can’t find it?
Contribute the texts you think should be here and we’ll add them soon!