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Causal order, temporal order, and the asymmetry of time

Robertson, H.S.; (2011) Causal order, temporal order, and the asymmetry of time. Masters thesis , UCL (University College London). Green open access

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Abstract

Upon denying the A-theory construal of temporal relations, the question arises as to what temporal asymmetry should be taken to consist in. This paper is an investigation into the prospects of one particular B-theory answer to this question – viz. the causal account. In particular, I examine the prospects for the claim that the asymmetry of time rests on the asymmetry of causation (the causal thesis). I begin with the version of the causal thesis that is proposed by Hugh Mellor in Real Time II. I discuss a number of complications that arise on the arguments he gives for his version, and argue that the 'pair' version of the thesis that Mellor employs is too strong to deal with all cases of temporal asymmetry. In response to this situation, I formulate a weaker version of the thesis – viz. the majority version. However, it turns out that this version is also inadequate to the task of accounting for temporal asymmetry. I conclude by suggesting a further version of the thesis, which appears promising in overcoming the further obstacles. Throughout I take temporal asymmetry to be the distinction between the relation 'earlier than' and the relation 'later than'.

Type: Thesis (Masters)
Title: Causal order, temporal order, and the asymmetry of time
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
Language: English
UCL classification: UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > Faculty of Arts and Humanities > Dept of Philosophy
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/1310443
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