Taking times out: Tense logic as a theory of time

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Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part B: Studies in History and Philosophy of Modern Physics, ISSN: 1355-2198, Vol: 50, Page: 13-18

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Pashby, Thomas
Elsevier BV; Elsevier
Arts and Humanities; Physics and Astronomy
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Ulrich Meyer’s book The Nature of Time uses tense logic to argue for a ‘modal’ view of time, which replaces substantial times (as in Newton’s Absolute Time) with ‘ersatz times’ constructed using conceptually basic tense operators. He also argues against Bertrand Russell’s relationist theory, in which times are classes of events, and against the idea that relativity compels the integration of time and space (called by Meyer the Inseparability Argument). I find fault with each of these negative arguments, as well as with Meyer’s purported reconstruction of empty spacetime from tense operators and substantial spatial points. I suggest that Meyer’s positive project is best conceived as an elimination of time in the mode of Julian Barbour's The End of Time.