Synthese 198 (11):10709-10731 (2021)

Authors
Jack Shardlow
University of Warwick
Christoph Hoerl
University of Warwick
1 more
Abstract
Philosophical debates about the metaphysics of time typically revolve around two contrasting views of time. On the A-theory, time is something that itself undergoes change, as captured by the idea of the passage of time; on the B-theory, all there is to time is events standing in before/after or simultaneity relations to each other, and these temporal relations are unchanging. Philosophers typically regard the A-theory as being supported by our experience of time, and they take it that the B-theory clashes with how we experience time and therefore faces the burden of having to explain away that clash. In this paper, we investigate empirically whether these intuitions about the experience of time are shared by the general public. We asked directly for people’s subjective reports of their experience of time—in particular, whether they believe themselves to have a phenomenology as of time’s passing—and we probed their understanding of what time’s passage in fact is. We find that a majority of participants do share the aforementioned intuitions, but interestingly a minority do not.
Keywords temporal experience  A-theory  B-theory  experimental philosophy  time
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DOI 10.1007/s11229-020-02749-2
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References found in this work BETA

The Unreality of Time.John Ellis McTaggart - 1908 - Mind 17 (68):457-474.
What Makes Time Special?Craig Callender - 2017 - Oxford University Press.
Truth and Ontology.Trenton Merricks - 2007 - Oxford University Press.
A Defense of Presentism.Ned Markosian - 2004 - Oxford Studies in Metaphysics 1:47-82.
Experiencing Time.Simon Prosser - 2016 - Oxford University Press UK.

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Citations of this work BETA

Experimental Philosophy on Time.James Norton - 2021 - Philosophy Compass (11).
Agents of Change: Temporal Flow and Feeling Oneself Act.Nick Young - forthcoming - Philosophical Studies:1-19.

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