METAPHYSICS – AN OVERVIEW : Time: Realist Versus Reductionist Views

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Distinctions and Concepts:  (1) The concept of space;  (2) The idea of empty space, or space-time;  (3) Realist views of space: (a) Empty space is possible; (b) Facts about space are not logically supervenient upon spatial relations between things or events;  (4) Reductionist views of space:  (a) Space cannot exist unless there are spatially related things or events;  (b) Facts about space are not logically supervenient upon spatial relations between things or events.  (Similarly: realist versus reductionist views of (a) time and (b) space-time.
Philosophical Arguments against Realist Views of Space:  (1) General arguments against anything unobservable;  (2) Something is real only if it is causally connected to other things;  (3) Leibniz’s Principle of the Identity of Indiscernibles.
A Philosophical Argument for Realist Views of Space:  Space provides truth-makers for statements about empirical possibilities concerning unoccupied locations in space.
Scientific Arguments for Realist Views of Space and Time:  (1) Newton's arguments for absolute space:  (a) Force as producing a change in absolute motion, but not necessarily in relative motion;  (b) Rotational motion relative to absolute space shows itself by its effects  (The bucket argument, and the two globes argument.  (2) Newton’s argument for absolute time:  Time enters into the laws of nature, and cannot be merely "sensible" time.  (3) Einstein’s General Theory of Relativity allows for the possibility of empty space-time.  (4) The idea of worlds with only laws of pure succession, and the fact that our world is not such a world:  temporal magnitudes as the best explanation of correlations between different causal processes, both of the same type, and different types.

The Issue of the Relation between Time and Change:  (1) Aristotle's view that change is the measure of time, and thus that if there is no time, there is no change;  (2) The bearing of Newton's views upon Aristotle thesis:  (a) The problem of getting a sensible measure of time that involves a constant interval;  (b) The need to provide an explanation of correlations between causal processes: Newton's postulation of a temporal measure intrinsic to space itself;  (3) Worlds where there is time, but no measure of time, because there are no quantitative temporal relations;  (4) Sydney Shoemaker's argument for the possibility of time without any change:  (a) Local freezes versus total freezes;  (b) Objections to local freezes versus objections to total freezes;  (c) A verificationist objection?  (d) Alternative hypotheses?  (e) The causation objection:  temporally extended causes, or action at a temporal distance?

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