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James Harrington
preprint description
Aristotle begins his famous discussion of time in Book Δ of The Physics by asking whether time belongs to “the things that exist.” In this paper I argue that Aristotle’s apparently ambiguous answer to this question holds one of the keys to clarifying contemporary philosophy of time. First, I argue that the metaphysical and meta-philosophical presuppositions underlying most philosophy of time are deeply flawed. Second, that Aristotle provides us with a much more plausible alternative set of presuppositions about the nature of time. The Aristotelian conception of time as part of the subject matter of physics or “the philosophy of nature” is particularly illuminating. Finally, I examine several issues about the nature and reality of time often raised in the context of contemporary physics and show how the Aristotelian perspective can resolve those puzzles.

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