International Workshop New Developments in the Philosophy of Time 03 December 2015 University of Bonn
11:15—12:15 Florian Fischer (Bonn) - A Logic for Change?
13:45—14:45 Thorben Petersen (Bremen) - Identity Through Time for Bands: A Neo-Aristotelian Account
15.15—16:15 Christian Löw (Cologne) - Why We Cannot Control the Past
16.45—17:45 Emanuel Viebahn (Berlin) - On Permanentism
18.15—19:45 Dan Deasy (Dublin) - New Developments in Temporal Metaphysics
The talk of Dan Deasy is part of the philosophical colloquium at the University of Bonn. It takes place at the "Großer Übungsraum" in the Institute for Philosophy, Am Hof 1.
The other talks take place at the "Logic Library" (Room 2.014), Am Hof 3--5 (Etscheidthof).
Registration All participants are welcome, but please send a short email to email@example.com to let us know you are coming.
Organisation Florian Fischer
A Logic for Change? Florian Fischer
Identity is, among other things, a logical relation. Taking a non-canonical interpretation of identity may help with the problem of change. Belnap and Müller (2013) have devised a case-relative notion of identity within their case intentional first order logic (CIFOL). Much like possible worlds in possible worlds semantics, their cases come with no in-built interpretation. Understood as moments in time, they are a promising candidate to resolve the alleged paradox of change. CIFOL allows for different persistence conditions of different objects. A basil plant may be identical to its matter at one moment, but, in contrast to its matter, ceases to exist once it’s blended to make pesto. This feature of CIFOL suggests an application to Aristotel’s essential change, a change which dosen't preserve the identity of the object. Blending is an essential change for a basil plant since it ceases to exist when the pesto comes into existence. For the underlying matter the same blending is an accidental change, since it has different persistence conditions. CIFOL helps us to understand that this is not in contradiction with the identity of the basil and the lump of matter before the blending.
Identity Through Time for Bands: A Neo-Aristotelian Account Thorben Petersen Fans and critics of popular music often wonder whether some band that is now touring or releasing a new album is the very same band they have heard years ago. Often, even the members of bands themselves feel obliged to straighten out their band is “still the same”. But what exactly is a band? Are they entities in their own right? Do bands exist at all? If so, how should we individuate them? The aim of this article is to articulate and motivate a broadly neo-Aristotelian or “hylomorphic” conception of pop groups, focussing on the question how bands manage to retain their identity through time.
Why We Cannot Control the Past Christian Loew
One of the most striking time-asymmetries of our agency concerns control. We have some control over the future, but we have absolutely no control over the past. For example, if I want to visit Paris next week, I can do things now to make that happen; but if I want to have visited Paris last week, there is nothing I can do about it now. This temporal arrow of control might break down in extraordinary circumstances, such as time-travel, where we might be able to control the past. But, given how seamlessly we can control the future, it needs to be explained why we cannot control the past in any circumstances familiar from everyday life. In this paper, I show that, surprisingly, we can fully account for the arrow of control without positing any deep difference between past and future, such as an intrinsic direction of time. Instead, I draw from philosophy of action and evidential decision theory to show that we cannot control the past because we lack a special kind of knowledge. I argue that this account provides a deeper explanation of why we cannot control the past than competing accounts in the literature.
On Permanentism Emanuel Viebahn
A long-standing debate in the philosophy of time concerns the question of which things exist. The main views in this debate are Eternalism, according to which there are past, present and future things, and Presentism, according to which there are only present things. Dan Deasy has recently argued that instead of asking which things exist, we should ask whether things come into existence or go out of existence. Two answers to this new question are Permanentism, on which things neither begin nor cease to exist, and Transientism, on which things do begin to exist and cease to exist. Deasy defends a version of Permanentism, and he holds that Eternalists must be Permanentists (if their view is to be plausible). I will argue against Permanentism and in favour of Eternalism. I will show that Eternalists can maintain a plausible view while accepting Transientism, and I will point to some problems for Permanentism.
New Developments in Temporal Metaphysics Daniel Deasy
The following claims seem to be widely accepted in the metaphysics of time: (i) the key debate in the metaphysics of time is between presentists, according to whom everything is present, and eternalists, according to whom there are also past and future things; (ii) the moving spotlight theory, which combines eternalism and the A-theory (the view that there is an absolute present moment), is ultimately contradictory and implies scepticism about our being in the present; (iii) B-theorists (who reject the A-theory) but not A-theorists can endorse a reductive analysis of the standard temporal operators ‘was’ and ‘will’; (iv) for B-theorists, the standard temporal operators serve to restrict the domain of the quantifiers in their scope to things that are located at the relevant times; (v) the disagreement between A- and B-theorists is a disagreement about the nature of fundamental reality. In this talk I’ll raise doubts about each of (i)-(v).
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