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Philosophical development of Leibniz's view that time is merely earlier–later order is necessary because neither Leibniz nor modern followers sufficiently answered the Newtonian charge that order does not give quantity. Logically, order is transitive, quantity, as in distance, is not. Quantity, as well as order, is naturally assumed in Newton's absolute time, so that to declare the mere relative order sufficient is to have to show how quantity can arise for it. The modern theory of the continuum, perfectly applicable to Newton's absolute, does not show this but assumes quantity. The development given here shows how interval, instant and simultaneity can be logically developed from Leibniz's insight.
To prove the equivalence one must start with one side, and the earlier-later side seems, for starting with, logically the clearer. The equivalence is provable on reasonable definitions of ‘past’, ‘present’ and ‘future’ in terms of the earlier-later structure of time. McTaggart's attempted distinction between the past-present-future A series and the earlier-later B series, as though they were rivals for the structure of time, is based on an unexamined, and false, assumption. The equivalence shows they are not rivals; they are quite consistent with each other. A very serious consequence is that all subsequent argument, from the A side or the B, however sophisticated, is flawed to the extent that it accepts McTaggart's false distinction.
Sydney Shoemaker argues that time without change is possible, but begs the question by assuming an, in effect, Newtonian absolute time, that ‘flows equably’ in a region in which there is no change and in one in which there is. An equally possible, relativist, assumption, consistent, it seems, with relativity theory, is that where nothing changes there is no time flow, though there may be elsewhere, where there is change. Such an assumption would require some revision of uncritical common thought about time. Aristotle argues that there is no time without change but that time is not change. His arguments for the latter can be faulted both internally and again in terms of the same relativist assumption. From the Physics we can derive, though Aristotle himself did not, an argument that time is to change as geometrical space is to body: the thing itself in abstraction.
Following observations of Aristotle, Kant, Newton, Leibniz and Einstein (on space), we can devise a means of showing how the ontology of time supports the precedes-succeeds logic, which the temporal series shares with those of space and number, and how the past-present-future account is consistent with that. Time, by a relativist, not absolutist, account, turns out to be the existence and nonexistence of exactly the same thing in exactly the same respect. Both A and not-A can be the case, but not at the same time. On the relativist view their both being the case constitutes time. This turns out to be, in the most general sense, a causal theory of time.
The argument of J. M. E. McTaggart in ‘The Unreality of Time’ (Mind 1908) fails logically. There is no A series as such, but there is a shifting past-present-future arrangement within and consistent with the earlier-later B series, past being always earlier, future always later, present always a position earlier or later. An exactly similar logical structure is constructible within the number series, by making each number as one goes up it in turn (it does not matter what ‘it’, or ‘present’, means, ontologically). The subsequent argument that past-present-future time falls into contradiction then fails also, and proves to be equivocal.
Hepatitis B surface antigen and antibody to hepatitis B core antigen were measured in 232 long-term psychiatric patients. The aims of the study were to determine the prevalence of infection and to relate it to factors such as age, sex, duration of hospital stay and diagnosis.
There was both an increased rate and increased evidence of past infection amongst the patients tested relative to the general population. There was no statistical significant difference between the antibody positive group compared to the antibody negative group for age, sex and duration of hospital stay, unlike that found in studies of mentally handicapped patients. There was a positive association between the presence of antibody and patient diagnosis. Patients with mental handicap appear to have a predilection for hepatitis B.
Further work needs to be done to elucidate the epidemiology of hepatitis B in psychiatric patients and evaluate the reservoir of infection present.
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