By Alexander Passerin D'Entreves

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Extra resources for The medieval contribution to political thought : Thomas Aquinas, Marsilius of Padua, Richard Hooker

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By analysing the folk concept we can determine which of the A- or B-theory better accords with our everyday thought and talk about time which some may take to constitute a kind of evidence in favour of one or other of these views. In addition, by analysing our concept it is possible to gain a better sense of the conceptual connections between our concept of time and other nearby concepts, such as persistence and causation; the metaphysics of these latter notions—for some—is thought to bear on the debate over temporal reality.

So the analysis can explain why it is that philosophers are generally not persuaded by arguments that move from the inconsistency of the A-series to the unreality of time (such as McTaggart’s famous argument, or the argument offered by Gödel). The reason why these arguments are unpersuasive is that the folk concept of time would continue to be satisfied even if there is no A-series actually, 11 Paper presented at the Frontiers in the Philosophy of Time Conference, Kyoto, Japan. 42 S. Baron and K.

For, we think, a timeless physical theory could be true, and yet the world seems just as it is, experientially speaking. Indeed, that must be so if a timeless physical theory is to be at all plausible, since otherwise any such theory would be flatly inconsistent with the everyday experiences we have of the world. But the world seems like it has time. Indeed, it seems as though part of what we mean when we talk about time just are the various “timey” experiences that we have: experiences as of deliberating about the future, regretting the past, reasoning about how to 13 Something along these lines has been suggested by Craig Bourne (2006, 220–222) à la Lewis (1970) in the context of discussion about our concept of time.

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