ISBN : 9780198776697
Bradford Skow presents an original defense of the 'block universe' theory of time, often said to be a theory according to which time does not pass. Along the way, he provides in-depth discussions of alternative theories of time, including those in which there is 'robust passage' of time or 'objective becoming': presentism, the moving spotlight theory of time, the growing block theory of time, and the 'branching time' theory of time. Skow explains why the moving spotlight theory is the best of these arguments, and rebuts several popular arguments against the thesis that time passes. He surveys the problems that the special theory of relativity has been thought to raise for objective becoming, and suggests ways in which fans of objective becoming may reconcile their view with relativistic physics. The last third of the book aims to clarify and evaluate the argument that we should believe that time passes because, somehow, the passage of time is given to us in experience. He isolates three separate arguments this idea suggests, and explains why they fail.
1 Introduction: Time Passes?
2 The Block Universe
3 What Might Robust Passage Be?
4 The Moving Spotlight
5 Growing Blocks and Branching Times
6 The Moving Spotlight Theory is Consistent
7 How Fast Does Time Pass?
8 The Challenge from Relativity
9 Relativity and the Passage of Time
10 Can We Move Through Time?
11 Passage and Experience, I
12 Passage and Experience, II
13 Concluding Thoughts: Passage and Time-Biased Preferences