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An Error in Temporal Error Theory


Within the philosophy of time there has been a growing interest in positions that deny the reality of time. Those positions, whether motivated by arguments from physics or metaphysics, have a shared conclusion: time is not real. What has not been made clear, however, is exactly what it entails to deny the reality of time. Time is unreal, sure. But what does that mean?

There has (within the recent literature) been only one sustained attempt to spell out what it would mean to endorse a (so-called) temporal error theory, a theory that denies the reality of time: Baron and Miller's (2015) ‘What Is Temporal Error Theory?’ Despite the fact that their paper makes significant strides in spelling out what would be required, my claim in this paper is that their position must be rejected and replaced. In addition to rejecting Baron and Miller's position, I also offer that replacement.

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My thanks to the postgraduate work in progress seminar at the University of Sydney for hosting a discussion of this paper, and to Kristie Miller and David Ingram for further discussion and comments. I am very grateful to the University of Sydney for hosting me while I worked on the project. I'm also very grateful to two referees for the Journal of the American Philosophical Association for great comments and discussion. They have helped the paper enormously.

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Journal of the American Philosophical Association
  • ISSN: 2053-4477
  • EISSN: 2053-4485
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