Presentism, the view that only the present exists, was a much neglected position in the philosophy of time for a number of years. Recently, however, it has been enjoying a renaissance among philosophers. A Future for Presentism is meant as a timely contribution to this fast growing and exciting debate.
After discussing rival positions in the philosophy of time, in Part I Craig Bourne shows how presentism is the only viable alternative to the tenseless theory of time. He then develops a distinctive version of presentism that avoids the mistakes of the past, and which sets up the framework for solving problems traditionally associated with the position, such as what makes past-tensed statements true, how to give the proper semantics for statements about the future, how to deal with
transtemporal relations, how we can meaningfully talk about past individuals, and how causation can be accommodated. Part I concludes with a discussion of the direction of time and causation, the decision-theoretic problem known as 'Newcomb's problem', and the possibility of time travel and causal loops. In Part
II Bourne focuses on the problems for presentism raised by relativity theory. He begins with by giving a self-contained exposition of the concepts of special relativity that are important for understanding the later discussion of its philosophical implications. The last two chapters explore the philosophical implications of certain cosmological models that arise from general relativity, namely the expanding models, which seem to represent our universe, and Goedel's infamous model, which
allows us to take a journey into our future and arrive in our past. The necessary physics is explained with the aid of diagrams, throughout.
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Number of pages: 258
Weight: 432 g
Dimensions: 222 x 145 x 19 mm
...the book is interesting and should be widely read...provides an accessible and profound introduction to the topic and at the same time it expands the framework of the current theory of presentism...This stimulating study is warmly recommended to anyone interested in the metaphysics of time and in the relations between philosophy and physics. * Vera Tripodi Humana,Mente *
It engages a broad range of issues in the philosophy of time, and does so energetically and honestly. In my view it is essential reading for tensed and tenseless theorists alike. * Phil Dowe MIND *