Coordination and Coming to Be

Australasian Journal of Philosophy 101 (1):213-227 (2021)
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ABSTRACT The following are purported to be common-sense features of the world: time’s passage, the unreality of the future, the existence of ‘genuine’ change. All of these common-sense features are accommodated by accepting the phenomenon of absolute becoming, a view of temporal passage in which the unreal future comes into existence in the present. Indeed, most philosophers who lay claim to common-sense views of time accept absolute becoming. I argue that absolute becoming has deeply unintuitive consequences. Specifically, proponents of absolute becoming face what I call the coordination problem: in the absence of a connection between the existing present and the unreal future, one must, but cannot, explain how whatever comes into existence preserves the continuing regularity of the world. The standard options to explain the continuing regularity of the world take the form of appealing to enforcers—causation, laws of nature, and dispositions—to guarantee that what comes into existence preserves these regularities. I show that the very nature of a world in which there is no future means that enforcers cannot guarantee this regular nature of the world. Absolute becoming should therefore be rejected: the future does not come into existence; it already exists.



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Lisa Leininger
Hobart and William Smith Colleges

References found in this work

The unreality of time.John Ellis McTaggart - 1908 - Mind 17 (68):457-474.
How to speak of the colors.Mark Johnston - 1992 - Philosophical Studies 68 (3):221-263.
Laws of nature.Fred I. Dretske - 1977 - Philosophy of Science 44 (2):248-268.
Finkish dispositions.David Kellogg Lewis - 1997 - Philosophical Quarterly 47 (187):143-158.
Nothing to Come: A Defence of the Growing Block Theory of Time.Fabrice Correia & Sven Rosenkranz - 2018 - Cham, Switzerland: Springer Verlag. Edited by Sven Rosenkranz.

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