PhilSci Archive

Chronogeometrical Determinism and the Local Present

Savitt, Steven (2011) Chronogeometrical Determinism and the Local Present. [Preprint]

CDLP.pdf - Draft Version

Download (275kB)


Hilary Putnam (et al.) argued that the special theory of relativity shows that there can be no temporal becoming. Howard Stein replied by defining a becoming relation in Minkowski spacetime. Clifton and Hogarth extended and sharpened Stein’s results.

Game over? To the contrary, it has been argued (Saunders, Callender) that the Stein-Clifton-Hogarth theorems actually support Putnam’s contention, in that if an apparently minimal condition is put on the becoming relation (the condition that two distinct events are able to “share a present”), then these theorems entail that the becoming relation must be the universal relation.

I recount this dialectic in some detail and then try to define and defend a becoming relation based on a present that does indeed consist of more than one point or event but still satisfies the sort of objectivity requirements that Stein-Clifton-Hogarth require of a becoming relation. This present is not a global hyperplane or surface, however; it is a local structure.

I close with some methodological (or are they metaphysical?) remarks about the relation between the present and the real and about the importance of the specious or psychological present.

Export/Citation: EndNote | BibTeX | Dublin Core | ASCII/Text Citation (Chicago) | HTML Citation | OpenURL
Social Networking:
Share |

Item Type: Preprint
Savitt, StevenF
Keywords: time, presentism, eternalism, Putnam, Stein, Sellars
Subjects: General Issues > Determinism/Indeterminism
Depositing User: Steven Savitt
Date Deposited: 08 Feb 2011 16:00
Last Modified: 08 Feb 2011 16:00
Item ID: 8481
Subjects: General Issues > Determinism/Indeterminism
Date: 7 February 2011

Monthly Views for the past 3 years

Monthly Downloads for the past 3 years

Plum Analytics

Actions (login required)

View Item View Item