Combining Philosophers

All the ideas for Baron,S/Miller,K, Peter Unger and Lars Svendsen

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52 ideas

1. Philosophy / B. History of Ideas / 5. Later European Thought
Modern Western culture suddenly appeared in Jena in the 1790s [Svendsen]
     Full Idea: Foucault was right to say that Jena in the 1790s was the arena where the fundamental interests in modern Western culture suddenly had their breakthrough.
     From: Lars Svendsen (A Philosophy of Boredom [2005], Ch.2)
     A reaction: [Hölderlin, Novalis, Tieck, Schlegel, based on Kant and Fichte] Romanticism seems to have been born then. Is that the essence of modernism? Foucault and his pals are hoping to destroy the Enlightenment by ignoring it, but that is modern too.
1. Philosophy / F. Analytic Philosophy / 7. Limitations of Analysis
You can't understand love in terms of 'if and only if...' [Svendsen]
     Full Idea: I once began reading a philosophical article on love. The following statement soon came up: 'Bob loves Kate if and only if...' At that point I stopped reading. Such a formalized approach was unsuitable, because the actual phenomenon would be lost.
     From: Lars Svendsen (A Philosophy of Boredom [2005], Pref)
     A reaction: It is hard to disagree! However, if your best friend comes to you and says, 'I can't decide whether I am really in love with Kate; what do you think?', how are you going to respond. You offer 'if and only if..', but in a warm and sympathetic way!
2. Reason / F. Fallacies / 2. Infinite Regress
Vicious regresses force you to another level; non-vicious imply another level [Baron/Miller]
     Full Idea: A regress is vicious if the problem at level n can only be solved at level n+1; it is non-vicious if it can be solved at n, but the solution forces another level n+1, where the problem can be reformulated.
     From: Baron,S/Miller,K (Intro to the Philosophy of Time [2019], 2.3.2)
     A reaction: So in a vicious regress you chase the apparent solution, but never attain it. In the non-vicious you solve it, but then find you have a new problem. I think.
5. Theory of Logic / L. Paradox / 7. Paradoxes of Time
A traveller takes a copy of a picture into the past, gives it the artist, who then creates the original! [Baron/Miller]
     Full Idea: Suppose an art critic travels back in time with a copy of an artist's masterpiece, gives the artist the copy, and the artist copies it. The copy of the copy turns out to be the original mastepiece. The artwork seems to come from nowhere.
     From: Baron,S/Miller,K (Intro to the Philosophy of Time [2019], 8.6)
     A reaction: Lovely thought. Is the example possible (even with time travel)? How would the critic possess the copy before making the time journey? What if the critic decided not to travel back in time? Can a picture exist if no one has imagined it first?
7. Existence / C. Structure of Existence / 1. Grounding / a. Nature of grounding
Grounding is intended as a relation that fits dependences between things [Baron/Miller]
     Full Idea: Grounding is a posit introduced by metaphysicians in an attempt to devise a relation that can accommodate dependence between things in the world.
     From: Baron,S/Miller,K (Intro to the Philosophy of Time [2019], 5.6)
     A reaction: Grounding is a recent concept which seems to have lots of enemies, but I assume you can only reject it if you reject the concept of dependence - yet that seems a fairly obvious fact to me. My favoured metaphysical relation is 'determination'.
7. Existence / D. Theories of Reality / 10. Vagueness / d. Vagueness as linguistic
Vague predicates lack application; there are no borderline cases; vague F is not F [Unger, by Keefe/Smith]
     Full Idea: In a slogan, Unger's thesis is that all vague predicates lack application ('nihilism', says Williamson). Classical logic can be retained in its entirety. There are no borderline cases: for vague F, everything is not F; nothing is either F or borderline F.
     From: report of Peter Unger (There are no ordinary things [1979]) by R Keefe / P Smith - Intro: Theories of Vagueness §1
     A reaction: Vague F could be translated as 'I'm quite tempted to apply F', in which case Unger is right. This would go with Russell's view. Logic and reason need precise concepts. The only strategy with vagueness is to reason hypothetically.
9. Objects / A. Existence of Objects / 5. Simples
There are no objects with proper parts; there are only mereological simples [Unger, by Wasserman]
     Full Idea: Eliminativism is often associated with Unger, who defends 'mereological nihilism', that there are no composite objects (objects with proper parts); there are only mereological simples (with no proper parts). The nihilist denies statues and ships.
     From: report of Peter Unger (There are no ordinary things [1979]) by Ryan Wasserman - Material Constitution 4
     A reaction: The puzzle here is that he has a very clear notion of identity for the simples, but somehow bars combinations from having identity. So identity is simplicity? 'Complex identity' doesn't sound like an oxymoron. We're stuck if there are no simples.
9. Objects / E. Objects over Time / 2. Objects that Change
How does a changing object retain identity or have incompatible properties over time? [Baron/Miller]
     Full Idea: The problems of temporary intrinsics are reconciling the indiscernibility of identicals with change in an object over time, and the problem of something have incompatible properties over time (such as tired and not-tired).
     From: Baron,S/Miller,K (Intro to the Philosophy of Time [2019], 7.3.1)
     A reaction: Loosely speaking, I would offer some sort of essentialism as the answer to these problems. People are not essentially sitting down, or tired. Or we can relativise properties to times t1 and t2.
12. Knowledge Sources / B. Perception / 2. Qualities in Perception / e. Primary/secondary critique
If subjective and objective begin to merge, then so do primary and secondary qualities [Svendsen]
     Full Idea: It is doubtful whether the traditional dichotomy between the strictly subjective and the strictly objective can still be maintained; if not, we must also revise the distinction between primary and secondary qualities.
     From: Lars Svendsen (A Philosophy of Boredom [2005], Ch.3)
     A reaction: Very perceptive. The reason why I am so keen to hang onto the primary/secondary distinction is because I want to preserve objectivity (and realism). I much prefer Locke to Hume, as empiricist spokesmen.
13. Knowledge Criteria / C. External Justification / 6. Contextual Justification / b. Invariantism
The meaning of 'know' does not change from courtroom to living room [Unger]
     Full Idea: There is no reason to suppose that the meaning of 'know' changes from the courtroom to the living room and back again; no more than for supposing that 'vacuum' changes from the laboratory to the cannery.
     From: Peter Unger (Ignorance: a Case for Scepticism [1975], 2.1)
     A reaction: I disagree. Lots of words change their meaning (or reference) according to context. Flat, fast, tall, clever. She 'knows a lot' certainly requires a context. The bar of justification goes up and down, and 'knowledge' changes accordingly.
13. Knowledge Criteria / D. Scepticism / 1. Scepticism
No one knows anything, and no one is ever justified or reasonable [Unger]
     Full Idea: I argue for the thesis that no one ever knows about anything, ...and that consequently no one is ever justified or at all reasonable in anything.
     From: Peter Unger (Ignorance: a Case for Scepticism [1975], Intro)
     A reaction: The premiss of his book seems to be that knowledge is assumed to require certainty, and is therefore impossible. Unger has helped push us to a more relaxed and fallibilist attitude to knowledge. 'No one is reasonable' is daft!
13. Knowledge Criteria / D. Scepticism / 4. Demon Scepticism
An evil scientist may give you a momentary life, with totally false memories [Unger]
     Full Idea: The evil scientist might not only be deceiving you with his electrodes; maybe he has just created you with your ostensible memory beliefs and experiences, and for good measure he will immediately destroy you, so in the next moment you no longer exist.
     From: Peter Unger (Ignorance: a Case for Scepticism [1975], 1.12)
     A reaction: This is based on Russell's scepticism about memory (Idea 2792). Even this very train of thought may not exist, if the first half of it was implanted, rather than being developed by you. I cannot see how to dispute this possibility.
18. Thought / A. Modes of Thought / 3. Emotions / b. Types of emotion
Emotions have intentional objects, while a mood is objectless [Svendsen]
     Full Idea: An emotion normally has an intentional object, while a mood is objectless.
     From: Lars Svendsen (A Philosophy of Boredom [2005], Ch.3)
     A reaction: It doesn't follow that the object of the emotion is clearly understood, or even that it is conscious. One may experience rising anger while struggling to see what its object is. Artistic symbolism seems to involve objects that create moods.
22. Metaethics / B. Value / 2. Values / e. Death
Death appears to be more frightening the less one has lived [Svendsen]
     Full Idea: Death appears to be more frightening the less one has lived.
     From: Lars Svendsen (A Philosophy of Boredom [2005], Ch.2)
     A reaction: [He credits Adorno with this] A good thought, which should be immediately emailed to Epicurus for comment. Which is worse - to die when you have barely started your great work (Ramsey), or dying in full flow (Schubert)?
23. Ethics / F. Existentialism / 4. Boredom
The profoundest boredom is boredom with boredom [Svendsen]
     Full Idea: In the profound form of boredom, I am bored by boredom itself.
     From: Lars Svendsen (A Philosophy of Boredom [2005], Ch.3)
     A reaction: Boredom is boring, which is why I try to avoid it. Third-level boredom is a rather enchanting idea. It sounds remarkably similar to the Buddha experiencing enlightenment.
We are bored because everything comes to us fully encoded, and we want personal meaning [Svendsen]
     Full Idea: Boredom results from a lack of personal meaning, which is due to the fact that all objects and actions come to us fully encoded, while we (as descendants of Romanticism) insist on a personal meaning.
     From: Lars Svendsen (A Philosophy of Boredom [2005], Ch.2)
     A reaction: This idea justifies me categorising Boredom under Existentialism. This is an excellent idea, and perfectly captures the experience of most teenagers, for whom it is impossible to impose a personal meaning on such a vast cultural reality.
We can be unaware that we are bored [Svendsen]
     Full Idea: It is perfectly possible to be bored without being aware of the fact.
     From: Lars Svendsen (A Philosophy of Boredom [2005], Ch.1)
     A reaction: True. Also, I sometimes mistake indecision for boredom. It becomes very hard to say for certain whether you are bored. I am certain that I am bored if I am forced to do something which has no interest for me. The big one is free-but-bored.
Boredom is so radical that suicide could not overcome it; only never having existed would do it [Svendsen]
     Full Idea: Boredom is so radical that it cannot even be overcome by suicide, only by something completely impossible - not to have existed at all.
     From: Lars Svendsen (A Philosophy of Boredom [2005], Ch.1)
     A reaction: [he cites Fernando Pessoa for this] The actor George Sanders left a suicide note saying that he was just bored. A cloud of boredom is left hanging in the air where he was.
24. Political Theory / B. Nature of a State / 1. Purpose of a State
We have achieved a sort of utopia, and it is boring, so that is the end of utopias [Svendsen]
     Full Idea: There can hardly be any new utopias. To the extent that we can imagine a utopia, it must already have been realised. A utopia cannot, by definition, include boredom, but the 'utopia' we are living in is boring.
     From: Lars Svendsen (A Philosophy of Boredom [2005], Ch.4)
     A reaction: Compare Idea 8989. Lots of people (including me) think that we have achieved a kind of liberal, democratic, individualistic 'utopia', but the community needs of people are not being met, so we still have a way to go.
24. Political Theory / D. Ideologies / 9. Communism
The concept of 'alienation' seems no longer applicable [Svendsen]
     Full Idea: I do not believe that the concept of 'alienation' is all that applicable any more.
     From: Lars Svendsen (A Philosophy of Boredom [2005], Ch.1)
     A reaction: Interesting but puzzling. If alienation is the key existential phenomenon of a capitalist society, why should it fade away if we remain capitalist? He is proposing that it has metamorphosed into boredom, which may be a different sort of alienation.
26. Natural Theory / C. Causation / 1. Causation
Modern accounts of causation involve either processes or counterfactuals [Baron/Miller]
     Full Idea: The two major contemporary theories of causation are process theories and counterfactual theories. …Process theories treat it as something to be discovered. …Counterfactual theories ignore processes, and treat it in terms of truth and falsity.
     From: Baron,S/Miller,K (Intro to the Philosophy of Time [2019], 6.1)
     A reaction: I take the counterfactual theory to be a specialised branch of the project of analytic metaphysics, which seeks the logical form of causation sentences, using possible worlds semantics. In the real word its processes or nothing.
26. Natural Theory / C. Causation / 4. Naturalised causation
The main process theory of causation says it is transference of mass, energy, momentum or charge [Baron/Miller]
     Full Idea: According to contemporary process theories of causation it consists of the transference of a 'mark', which is always some conserved quantity. Candidates (from science) are mass, energy, momentum and electric charge.
     From: Baron,S/Miller,K (Intro to the Philosophy of Time [2019], 6.2.2)
     A reaction: Given my commitment to physicalism, this is my preferred theory of causation. It began with the suggestion of energy-transfer, but has broadened into the present idea. It is an updated version of the Newton view, as the meeting of objects.
If causes are processes, what is causation by omission? (Distinguish legal from scientific causes?) [Baron/Miller]
     Full Idea: Process theories of causation face a serious problem, such as killing a plant by failing to water it - a cause by omission. …Defenders of the theory propose two concepts of causation: one for legal and one for scientific contexts.
     From: Baron,S/Miller,K (Intro to the Philosophy of Time [2019], 6.2.3)
     A reaction: Not much of a problem, I think. Clearly the scientific concept has priority. The plant died of dehydration, resulting from the consumption and evaporation of the available water. The human causes of that situation are legion.
26. Natural Theory / C. Causation / 9. General Causation / c. Counterfactual causation
The counterfactual theory of causation handles the problem no matter what causes actually are [Baron/Miller]
     Full Idea: The chief advantage of the counterfactual theory of causation is that it is flexible enough to handle causation no matter what in the world underlies the causal facts in question.
     From: Baron,S/Miller,K (Intro to the Philosophy of Time [2019], 6.3)
     A reaction: It has this advantage because it makes no attempt to explain causation, but merely gives an accurate map of the truth and falsity of causal statements. It describes how we think about causation.
Counterfactual theories struggle with pre-emption by a causal back-up system [Baron/Miller]
     Full Idea: Counterfactual theories of causation have difficulty accommodating pre-emption, which involves the existence of causal back-up systems that undermine counterfactual dependence.
     From: Baron,S/Miller,K (Intro to the Philosophy of Time [2019], 6.5)
     A reaction: E.g. If your stone hadn't broken the window first, my stone would have broken it instead. So in the nearest world the withholding of your stone doesn't save the window.
27. Natural Reality / A. Classical Physics / 2. Thermodynamics / d. Entropy
There is no second 'law' of thermodynamics; it just reflects probabilities of certain microstates [Baron/Miller]
     Full Idea: According to contemporary statistical mechanics the second law of thermodynamics is not really a law at all, but merely reflects to probabilities of certain microstates, conditional on local boundary conditions having certain properties.
     From: Baron,S/Miller,K (Intro to the Philosophy of Time [2019], 5.6.1)
     A reaction: A nice illustration of how metaphysicians have been seduced by the 'laws' of nature into falsely inferring all sorts of natural necessities. Entropy is normally assumed to be totally inevitable, because of some natural force. It's just a pattern.
27. Natural Reality / C. Space / 6. Space-Time
In relativity space and time depend on one's motion, but spacetime gives an invariant metric [Baron/Miller]
     Full Idea: While spatial and temporal distances in relativity depend on one's relative state of motion, spatiotemporal distances within Minkowski spacetime do not. It therefore provides an invariant metric for describing the distances between things.
     From: Baron,S/Miller,K (Intro to the Philosophy of Time [2019], 4.2)
     A reaction: I doubt whether this solves all the worries which philosophers have, about relativity giving an account of time which contradicts our concept of time in every other area of our understanding.
27. Natural Reality / D. Time / 1. Nature of Time / f. Eternalism
The block universe theory says entities of all times exist, and time is the B-series [Baron/Miller]
     Full Idea: The standard block universe theory combines EntityEverywhenism with the B-theory of time.
     From: Baron,S/Miller,K (Intro to the Philosophy of Time [2019], 1.4)
     A reaction: This is also known as 'eternalism'. These authors emphasise that there is an ontological commitment to the objects of past and future in eternalism, as well as the B-series view of the moments of time.
27. Natural Reality / D. Time / 1. Nature of Time / g. Growing block
How can we know this is the present moment, if other times are real? [Baron/Miller]
     Full Idea: According to the spotlight and growing block views, there is a single objectively present moment, and also other objectively existing moments. But then how do persons in those different moments know which one is present?
     From: Baron,S/Miller,K (Intro to the Philosophy of Time [2019], 1.6)
     A reaction: [compressed example] This sceptical thought leads either towards Presentism (we know we are present because that's all there is), or Eternalism (there is no present moment, so no problem). A good objection to spotlight and growing block.
If we are actually in the past then we shouldn't experience time passing [Baron/Miller]
     Full Idea: If the past really exists, and we are in it, rather than in the present, then we should rationally conclude that we are not experiencing the passage of time. …But then we have no basis for arguing that time is dynamic.
     From: Baron,S/Miller,K (Intro to the Philosophy of Time [2019], 1.6)
     A reaction: [compressed] It is certainly difficult to conceive how past times and entities could be real in every way, except that the experience of time passing has been removed. But if past people experience passing, they must believe they are present…
27. Natural Reality / D. Time / 1. Nature of Time / h. Presentism
Erzatz Presentism allows the existence of other times, with only the present 'actualised' [Baron/Miller]
     Full Idea: The 'erzatz presentism' view is that either the past and present exist, or all times exist, but only the present is 'actualised'. Standard Presentism says no times exist other than the present.
     From: Baron,S/Miller,K (Intro to the Philosophy of Time [2019], 1.7.2)
     A reaction: Ersatz presentism is obviously a close relative of the moving spotlight and growing block views. No account seems possible of the distinction between 'exists' and 'actualised' (other than the former being a mere abstract concept).
How do presentists explain relations between things existing at different times? [Baron/Miller]
     Full Idea: A chief challenge facing presentism is how to give an account of cross-temporal relations, which link things that exist with things that do not.
     From: Baron,S/Miller,K (Intro to the Philosophy of Time [2019], 2.2)
     A reaction: The problem of whether to keep a dubious death-bed promise is a bit of a puzzle for all of us, whatever our metaphysical view of time. None of us deny the reality of our great-great-grandparents.
Presentism needs endurantism, because other theories imply most of the object doesn't exist [Baron/Miller]
     Full Idea: Presentism is more naturally paired with endurantism, since if we pair it with perdurantism or transdurantism we have to say that most of any persisting object does not exist, and while that is not incoherent it is not very attractive.
     From: Baron,S/Miller,K (Intro to the Philosophy of Time [2019], 7.2.2)
     A reaction: (I think perdurance is time slices, and transdurance is the complete time worm). My preferred combination is this one: all that exists is the complete objects at the present moment. It also needs strong commitment to the truth of tensed verbs.
How can presentists move to the next future moment, if that doesn't exist? [Baron/Miller]
     Full Idea: If Presentism is true, how do we manage to travel from this moment to the next moment, a moment that is, at present, a future and hence non-existent moment?
     From: Baron,S/Miller,K (Intro to the Philosophy of Time [2019], 8.3.1)
     A reaction: The reply would have to be that the metaphor of 'travel' is inappropriate for the movement through time. Travel needs a succession of existing places. The advancement of time is nothing like that. Nice question, though.
27. Natural Reality / D. Time / 1. Nature of Time / i. Denying time
Most of the sciences depend on the concept of time [Baron/Miller]
     Full Idea: Without time it is hard to make sense of historical research, evolutionary biology, psychology, chemistry, biology, cosmology, social science, archaeology, practical reason, evidence, human agency and causation.
     From: Baron,S/Miller,K (Intro to the Philosophy of Time [2019], 1.8)
     A reaction: [compressed] I do find it extraordinary that relativistic physicists cheerfully embrace an eternalist theory of time which seems to render nearly all of the other sciences meaningless.
27. Natural Reality / D. Time / 2. Passage of Time / a. Experience of time
For abstractionists past times might still exist, althought their objects don't [Baron/Miller]
     Full Idea: If past moments are seen as abstract (rather than concrete) it doesn't follow that because past objects no longer exist that therefore past times do not exist. The abstractionist needs to say which times are concretely realised.
     From: Baron,S/Miller,K (Intro to the Philosophy of Time [2019], 1.7.2)
     A reaction: Abstractionists see times as representations of change, rather than as substances.
The error theory of time's passage says it is either a misdescription or a false inference [Baron/Miller]
     Full Idea: According to the cognitive error theory of the passage of time, …it is either our misdescription of our temporal phenomenology, or some mechanism of our brain infers that the phenomenology is caused by time actually passing.
     From: Baron,S/Miller,K (Intro to the Philosophy of Time [2019], 3.3.1)
     A reaction: [compressed] I think I have some sympathy with the misdescription view. If you imaginatively gradually remove all the changing events in your experience, that doesn't end with a raw experience of pure time, because there is no such thing.
27. Natural Reality / D. Time / 2. Passage of Time / b. Rate of time
It is meaningless to measure the rate of time using time itself, and without a rate there is no flow [Baron/Miller]
     Full Idea: It seems we are forced to measure the rate of time's passing against itself. But that's just not a meaningful rate. So time has no rate. So it doesn't flow. So there is no such thing as temporal passage.
     From: Baron,S/Miller,K (Intro to the Philosophy of Time [2019], 2.3.1)
     A reaction: It is suggested that you can exchange dollars one for one, so time might move at one second per second. But you can't exchange your own dollars with yourself at one-for-one. That is meaningless. Time is NOT a substance which flows.
27. Natural Reality / D. Time / 2. Passage of Time / d. Time series
The C-series rejects A and B, and just sees times as order by betweenness, without direction [Baron/Miller]
     Full Idea: The C-series sees times not as directed, but as unchanging, and ordered in terms of the betweenness relation. The C-theory also asserts that the A-series and B-series do not exist.
     From: Baron,S/Miller,K (Intro to the Philosophy of Time [2019], 1.2)
     A reaction: This is McTaggart's idea. Compare this with A-series ordering by past, present and future, and B-series ordering by earlier-than, later-than and simultaneous. The main point is that A and B have a direction, but C does not.
27. Natural Reality / D. Time / 2. Passage of Time / e. Tensed (A) series
The A-series has to treat being past, present or future as properties [Baron/Miller]
     Full Idea: One of the limitations of the A-series is that temporal passage then presupposes the existence of properties of being present, being past and being future.
     From: Baron,S/Miller,K (Intro to the Philosophy of Time [2019], 2.1)
     A reaction: Metaphysicians happily talk about 'properties' all the time, and most of them never grasp how ambiguous and obscure that concept is. The idea that my recent scratching of my chin first acquired the 'present' property and then lost it is incoherent.
27. Natural Reality / D. Time / 2. Passage of Time / f. Tenseless (B) series
The B-series can have a direction, as long as it does not arise from temporal flow [Baron/Miller]
     Full Idea: The view that time has a direction is entirely consistent with the B-theory of time, as long as time's having a direction is not a matter of it having temporal flow.
     From: Baron,S/Miller,K (Intro to the Philosophy of Time [2019], 5.5)
     A reaction: I'm not sure how you could account for an intrinsic direction to time if it is not because of the 'flow'. The B-series seems to invite a reductive account of time's direction (e.g. to entropy).
27. Natural Reality / D. Time / 2. Passage of Time / g. Time's arrow
Static theories cannot account for time's obvious asymmetry, so time must be dynamic [Baron/Miller]
     Full Idea: One argument for the dynamic theory of time is that time is, obviously, asymmetric, and as static theories can't account for this asymmetry, we ought to posit temporal passage to explain it.
     From: Baron,S/Miller,K (Intro to the Philosophy of Time [2019], 5)
     A reaction: The B-series view (unlike the C-series) asserts that there is an order from past to future, but it offers no explanation of that fact. Physicists love to tell you the order could be in either direction, But why an 'order' at all?
The direction of time is either primitive, or reducible to something else [Baron/Miller]
     Full Idea: Primitivism is the view that time has a direction, and that its having that direction is intrinsic to time itself. Reductionism is the view that time has a direction, but its having that direction is reducible to something else.
     From: Baron,S/Miller,K (Intro to the Philosophy of Time [2019], 5.3.1)
     A reaction: The general suggestion for the second theory is that time's direction reduces to some aspect of the laws of nature. I strongly incline to the primitive view. Something's got to be primitive.
The kaon does not seem to be time-reversal invariant, unlike the rest of nature [Baron/Miller]
     Full Idea: The laws of nature are time-reversal invariant, with the small exception of the kaon (a type of sub-atomic particle)
     From: Baron,S/Miller,K (Intro to the Philosophy of Time [2019], 5.3.2)
     A reaction: If that fact about the kaon were very secure indeed, then that would mean the collapse of the claims about the time-invariance of the laws. Since time-invariance is still routinely asserted, I assume it is not secure.
Maybe the past is just the direction of decreasing entropy [Baron/Miller]
     Full Idea: We could say that what we call the past is just the direction towards (for instance) decreasing entropy, and the direction we call the future is the direction towards increasing entropy.
     From: Baron,S/Miller,K (Intro to the Philosophy of Time [2019], 5.3.3)
     A reaction: One problem is that locally entropy can sometimes go the other way, which would imply local pockets with a reversed time's arrow,.
We could explain time's direction by causation: past is the direction of causes, future of effects [Baron/Miller]
     Full Idea: An option for accounting for the direction of time would be to appeal to the direction of causation …to the future is the direction towards which there are effects, and the past is the direction towards which there are causes.
     From: Baron,S/Miller,K (Intro to the Philosophy of Time [2019], 5.6.2)
     A reaction: The obvious problem is that we can no longer pick out a cause by saying it 'precedes' its effect. It is not obvious what other criterion can be used to distinguish them (esp. given Hume's regularity account).
27. Natural Reality / D. Time / 2. Passage of Time / h. Change in time
Static time theory presents change as one property at t1, and a different property at t2 [Baron/Miller]
     Full Idea: The static theory of time appeals to an 'at-at' notion of change, which analyses change as objects or events having one property at time t1, and a different property at t2. (The worry about this is that it describes variation, but not real change).
     From: Baron,S/Miller,K (Intro to the Philosophy of Time [2019], 1.4)
     A reaction: I suppose observing a different property at t2 is observing the result of a change, rather than the process. But then the process might be broken down into micro-gradations of properties. Maybe only results can be observed.
27. Natural Reality / D. Time / 2. Passage of Time / j. Time travel
If a time traveller kills his youthful grandfather, he both exists and fails to exist [Baron/Miller]
     Full Idea: It is surely true that if a time traveller travels back in time and succeeds in shooting his youthful grandfather then the time traveller both exists and fails to exist.
     From: Baron,S/Miller,K (Intro to the Philosophy of Time [2019], 8.2)
     A reaction: This is the best known paradox of time travel. It is a special dramatic case of making any change to the past. If the traveller kills his neighbour's grandfather, his neighbour should vanish. Moving a speck of dust could have enduring results.
Presentism means there no existing past for a time traveller to visit [Baron/Miller]
     Full Idea: A time traveller can only travel to a location if the location exists, But if Presentism is true then past locations do not exist, so time travel to the past is impossible.
     From: Baron,S/Miller,K (Intro to the Philosophy of Time [2019], 8.3.1)
     A reaction: Might a time machine actually restore the past time which had ceased to exist? Then the problem is the information needed to achieve that.
27. Natural Reality / D. Time / 2. Passage of Time / k. Temporal truths
The past (unlike the future) is fixed, along with truths about it, by the existence of past objects [Baron/Miller]
     Full Idea: It is the existence of past objects that explains why the past is fixed, and why there are truths about the past, and it is the non-existence of future objects that explains why the future is malleable.
     From: Baron,S/Miller,K (Intro to the Philosophy of Time [2019], 1.3)
     A reaction: The authors label this view 'EntityNowandThenism', and it comes in a section on the 'Temporal Ontology'.
27. Natural Reality / D. Time / 3. Parts of Time / e. Present moment
The moving spotlight says entities can have properties of being present, past or future [Baron/Miller]
     Full Idea: The moving spotlight theorist maintains that there are special temporal properties that entities possess, namely the properties of being present, being past and being future.
     From: Baron,S/Miller,K (Intro to the Philosophy of Time [2019], 1.5.3)
     A reaction: Are these thought to be intrinsic properties of the objects, or (more plausibly) relational properties, between objects and times? Either view is weird. Does some godlike part of time scurry along, illuminating things, like a mouse under a carpet?
The present moment is a matter of existence, not of acquiring a property [Baron/Miller]
     Full Idea: Rather than treating presentness as an acquired property …. presentism equates the metaphysical specialness of the present with existence.
     From: Baron,S/Miller,K (Intro to the Philosophy of Time [2019], 2.2)
     A reaction: It seems like common sense to say that the recent scratching of my chin came into existence and then went out of existence (rather than that it acquired and then lost a property).