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La métaphysique du temps : perspectives contemporaines

 | 
Alexandre Declos
, 
Claudine Tiercelin

III- Temporalité, modes d’être, et constitution

Tense, Special Relativity, and Flow: A Wave Theoretic View

Nikk Effingham

Résumé

This paper introduces a new tensed theory of time, ‘wave theory’. Wave theorists believe in the same four-dimensional hunks that eternalist-perdurantists believe in, but deny that everyday objects are to be identified with them. Instead, everyday objects are three-dimensional objects constituted by the presently existing temporal parts of those hunks (where ‘constitution’ means just that relation which holds between lumps of clay and statues). This paper combines wave theory with an ‘intentionalist’ theory of constitution, whereby constituted objects partially depend upon the dispositions of agents to have beliefs about them. I then show how the resulting combination can resolve the tension between tensed time and special relativity, as well as explain the passage of time.

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Extrait du texte

This paper introduces a new tensed theory of time, ‘wave theory’, explaining how a particular version of it is (a) consistent with special relativity and (b) can explain the flow of time.

The paper comes in three parts. The first part introduces wave theory. Wave theorists agree with the eternalist that there are four-dimensional hunks of matter. However, rather than identifying everyday objects (e.g. you, me, cars, statues, etc.) with those hunks, everyday objects are instead constituted by presently existing three-dimensional slices of the hunks, much as statues are constituted by lumps of clay (§1). There are different theories of how lumps constitute statues; §2 explains the ‘intentionalist’ view, whereby constituted objects partially depend upon the intentions of agents. Plugging intentionalism into wave theory gets us ‘intentionalist wave theory’, which I summarise in §3.

The second part of the paper turns to special relativity. I discuss two arguments for thinking that special ...

Auteur

University of Birmingham

© Collège de France, 2021

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