(Part 4) The Cosmological Argument; or, Blogging Through “Out of Time: A Philosophical Study of Timelessness (2022)”

I have the book now, and so will start formally blogging through it. I hope you’ll join me. It should be fun. In today’s short post, I would just like to share a brief passage from the book where the authors address what they will be arguing:

  • We show that there are, in fact, situations in which people will judge that time does not exist when presented with certain discoveries about the world. This begins to drive a wedge between time and agency… According to the general theory of relativity, spacetime is a basic constituent of reality. However, we argue that recent developments in physics present a serious challenge to the existence of spacetime in at least some sense. Next we argue that causation and the folk notion of time come apart. This sets the scene for our return to agency. Because the folk notion of time and causation come apart, it is possible to have agency in the absence of time in the folk sense. We can use causation in the absence of time as a new foundation for agency. In this way, we show that agency provides no reason to suppose that time, in the folk sense, must exist.” (Baron, Samuel; Miller, Kristie; Tallant, Jonathan. Out of Time (p. 8). OUP Oxford. Kindle Edition.)

So, we are going to be interrogating the concept of time in terms of agency, science, and causality as we progress through this book.