HPS 2675       Philosophy of Space and Time        Spring 2009
Phil 2660


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Week Date Topic/Reading Presented by
1 Jan. 7 Introduction Earman and Norton
I. Philosophy Topics
2 Jan. 14 McTaggart, “The Unreality of Time” Mind 18 (1908) 457-484.
Mellor, H. Real Time II, Ch. 7 ("McTaggarts' Proof") (Routledge, 1998.)
Julia Bursten (30 min)
Dyke, “McTaggart and the Truth About Time,” in C. Callender (ed.) Time Reality and Experience (Cambridge UP, 2002).
Dainton, Time and Space (McGill-Queen’s, 2001). Ch 2 (“McTaggart on time’sunreality”).
Elay Shech (30 min)
A-Series vs B-Series
All (60 min)
3 Jan. 21 Gödel, “A Remark about the Relationship between Relativity Theory and Idealistic Philosophy,” in P. A. Schilpp (ed.), Albert Einstein: Philosopher Scientist.
Earman, Bangs, Crunches, etc., Appendix to Ch. 6 (“Gödel and the Ideality of Time”).

Handout: Goedel's Argument for the Ideality of Time (John Earman)

John Earman
Belot, “Dust, Time, and Symmetry,” British Journal for the Philosophy of Science56 (2005): 255-91. Bryan Roberts
4 Jan. 28 The growing block universe
Broad, Scientific Thought, Ch. 2 (“The General Problem of Time and Change”).

Earman, “Reassessing the Prospects of a Growing Block Model of the Universe,” pre-print.
John Earman
Putnam, “Time and Physical Geometry,” Journal of Philosophy 64 (1967):240-247. Jennifer Jhun
5 Feb. 4 Is relativity theory incompatible with becoming?
Stein, “On Relativity Theory and the Openness of the Future,” Philosophy of Science 58 (1991): 147-167. Will Lebing
Clifton and Hogarth, “The Definability of Becoming in Minkowski Spacetime,” Synthese 103 (1995): 355-387. Elay Shech
Callender, Shedding Light on Time,” Philosophy of Science 67 (Proceedings): S587-599. Tom Pashby
6 Feb. 11 Endurantism vs. perdurantism

Butterfield, “The Rotating Disk Argument Defeated,” British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 57 (2006): 1-45.

John Norton
Explaining our sense of the ‘nowness’ of time

Callender, Craig “The Common Now,” Philosophical Issues, 18, Interdisciplinary Core Philosophy, 2008, pp. 339-61.

Devan Goldstein
II. Philosophy of Physics Topics
7 Feb. 18 Time versus Space
Skow, “The Difference between Space and Time,” Noûs 41 (2007): 227-252. Tom Pashby
Callender, “What Makes Time Special?” http://fqxi.org/community/forum/category/10 Balazs Gyenis
I. Philosophy Topics (again for just a week)
8 Feb. 25 Presentism vs. eternalism vs. historicism: Is there a real debate?

Meyer, “The Presentist’s Dilemma,” Philosophical Studies 122 (2005): 213-225.

Background reading

Callender, “Time’s Ontic Voltage,” pre-print.

Doroto, “The Irrelevance of the Presentist/Eternalist Debate for the Ontology of Minkowski Spacetime,” in D. Dieks (ed), The Ontology of Spacetime I (Elsevier, 2006).

Savitt, “Presentism and Eternalism in Perspective,” in Dieks (ed) op. cit.

John Norton

Sider, Fourdimensionalism (Oxford UP, 2001). Ch. 2 (“Against Presentism”) Sider, “Quantifies and temporal Ontology,” Mind 115 (2006): 75-97.

Julia Bursten
II. back to Philosophy of Physics Topics
9 Mar. 4 Time Reversal Invariance
Introduction "Time Reversal Invariance and Irreversibility" John Earman
Albert, “Time Reversal Invariance,” Ch. 1 of Time and Chance (Harvard UP, 2000). Jennifer Jhun
Mar. 11 Spring Break
10 Mar. 18 Malament, “On Time Reversal Invariance of Classical Electromagnetic Theory,” Studies in History and Philosophy of Modern Physics 35 (2004): 295-315. Will Lebing
Introduction to Cosmic Time and Inflation (no reading) handout Claus Beisbart
11 Mar. 25 Boltzmann, the entropic arrow, and the past hypothesis
Statistical Mechanics 001 handout, more handout John Norton
Entropy and the Second Law handout John Earman
Albert, Time and Chance, Ch. 4 (“The Reversibility Objections and the Past- Hypothesis”) Elay Shech
12 April 1 The past hypothesis critically examined
Price, "The Origins of Time's Arrow: Why There Is Still a Puzzle about the Low Entropy Past" in C. Hitchcock (ed.), Contemporary Debates in Philosophy of Science.
Callender, “There Is No Puzzle about the Low Entropy Past,” ibid.
Julia Bursten
Winsberg, Eric, “Can Conditioning on the Past Hypothesis Militate Against the Reversibility Objections?” Philosophy of Science 71 (2004): 489-504. Bryan Roberts
April 1 Term paper topic due
13 April 8 The electromagnetic arrow
Frisch, “A Tale of Two Arrows,” Studies in History and Philosophy of Modern Physics 37 (2006): 542-558. Will Lebing
Earman, “Sharpening the Electromagnetic Arrow of Time,” pre-print. handout John Earman
14 April 15
Carlo Rovelli, "Forget Time" http://fqxi.org/community/forum/topic/237 Thomas Pashby
The CPT theorem
"Trying to make sense of the CPT theorem" handout
Followup handout on senses of time reversal.

Arntzenius, Frank and Greaves, Hilary (2007) "Time reversal in classical electromagnetism. " http://philsci-archive.pitt.edu/archive/00003280/
Greaves, Hilary (2007) "Towards a geometrical understanding of the CPT theorem." http://philsci-archive.pitt.edu/archive/00003676/

Useful application: Curing diseases through violations of time reversal invariance.

John Norton
Friday, April 24 Term paper due. Two hard copies by noon in 1017CL or e-versions emailed to the two Johns by 5pm.