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102

Your reasoning would be sound if you picked any random human who ever lived and checked whether they would be alive today. This chance would indeed be rather low. (Because today's world population is far higher than ever in the past, the chance is not quite as astronomically low as one might think.) However, we are not looking at any random human who ever ...


42

Shuffle a standard deck of 52 playing cards and look at the arrangement you end up with. Assuming your sorting was completely random the probability of you getting that exact arrangement is about 1 in 8 x 10 ^ 67. What an incredible coincidence! Well not really - you had to end up with one of the possible arrangements and they are all improbable, so an ...


20

You already seem to know the scientific perspective on this, but perhaps it's still worth elaborating a bit on it. You can define a second as the amount of time that passes between two ticks of the second hand of a clock. Our modern definition of the second is essentially a more precise version of the same idea, where the oscillations of the radiation ...


19

Rovelli claims that time is an illusion, deriving from the incompleteness of knowledge. Since that incompleteness of knowledge is a permanent (and necessary) state of affairs, his hypothesis does us no good at all-- we are still firmly stuck inside of time, illusory as it may be, with no hope of escape. And thus, for us trapped within the illusion, Zeno's ...


15

A simple model of infinitely deep infinite time Here's a model for the ordering of events in time such that you can have three different objects, each infinitely old, and each infinitely older than the last. Informally, it involves time not only having an infinite past, but a "very very" infinite past. We typically represent time by real numbers, possibly ...


14

The OP asks the following questions: Does the minimum unit of time coincide with the smallest change? Does time dissolve without differences between things? Bradley Dowden surveys two perspectives, substantivalism and relationalism, with regards to the question whether time requires change: Substantivalism is the thesis that space and time exist ...


11

I don't think this is correct. Formal logic, like mathematics, is typically atemporal, it deals with structural relationships, not progressions. For example, the logical statement IF A THEN B may sound like something that takes place in time, with A happening first and B happening second, but in actuality it just means that in the case that A is true, B ...


10

I think what you are looking for is Temporal Logic -- from SEP's entry: [Temporal logic] been broadly used to cover all approaches to the representation of temporal information within a logical framework, and also more narrowly to refer specifically to the modal-logic type of approach introduced around 1960 by Arthur Prior under the name of Tense Logic ...


10

Aristotle said the past is infinite because, for any past time we can imagine an earlier one. Aristotle's arguments aside, this is what people mean when they speak of an infinite past: for any time x, there exists another time y such that y precedes x. Colloquially, "there is no first moment in time". If time has a beginning, it means that there is a time x, ...


9

I think one source of confusion with the concept of time is that it actually names two very different but related concepts: The qualitative concept of time as an experience. The objective physical phenomenon underlying that experience. To make clear what I mean, let's look at a different concept where this separation is generally understood and where we ...


9

The view OP is alluding to is called mereological nihilism (mereology is a branch of metaphysics that studies relations between parts and wholes). It is the view that only "simples" (fundamental entities) exist, and composition of simples does not give rise to new objects. Applied consistently this means that, strictly speaking, not only time but chairs and ...


9

The first time I recall encountering this argument was in Alan Moore’s Watchmen, where the probability of what you describe is likened to “events with odds so astronomical they’re effectively impossible, like oxygen spontaneously becoming gold”. I find the argument similar to the gambler’s fallacy. An example: In a fair coin toss, the probability of ...


8

I don't think this is the best approach to tackling the cosmological argument. The Kalām version of the argument seems immune to the counter-argument by design. It's less concerned with "What was there before the Universe?" and more concerned with: (2) The universe has a beginning of its existence. A better objection1 is that the first premise is far ...


8

First, B theory is a semantic theory about the proper way to refer to events in time, not a metaphysical theory about past and future events. The view that past and future events are real is called eternalism. It's true that B theory fits better with eternalism than with other metaphysical theories of time, but strictly speaking they are distinct. Second, ...


8

I am not an anti-realist, but since none stepped up I'll try to explain as I understand it. Dummett, the founder of modern analytic anti-realism, emphasizes that unlike realism, anti-realism is not a unified doctrine, one can be an anti-realist about some specific domain (mathematics, physics, ethics, past, future, etc.), and a realist about the rest. The ...


8

The quote describes what Brouwer calls the first act of intuitionism, the splitting off of discrete from the comprehensive intuition of which discrete and continuous are idealized poles. Here is some quick background. The basis of Brouwer's philosophizing is the non-linguistic "primordial intuition of mathematics", of a continuum without qualitative ...


8

The problem is that our model of space is meant to be a 'form of intuition' for Kant. It should not, then, be modified by experience. There should be nothing out there on the basis of which to modify it, if it is itself an aspect of ourselves and not of nature. Kan't position is that space and time are not real, but are imposed on reality by our ...


8

The probability of an event X happening, GIVEN THAT IT HAS HAPPENED, is always 100%. I hear thinking like you give used in many flawed arguments. For example, I once got into a conversation with someone who claimed that the Gospels in the Bible must be frauds, because the people who it is claimed wrote them would have been like 70 years old at the time they ...


8

I suggest a distinction. If X happened - you poured a glass of water on December 13 2018 at 10.57 hrs - the truth that it happened is a necessary truth in the sense that it is impossible for that historical truth to be false now or at any future time. However, to introduce the distinction, it does not follow that your pouring that glass of water was a ...


7

We can't be sure. Just as we can't be sure that we aren't living in some giant computer simulation of our universe. Each of these cases would feel exactly as real as if the universe was real and as if it has existed for at least 13.7 billion years. Physics and science discovers truth by testing falsifiable hypothesis. So a hypothesis that is not falsifiable ...


7

Kant wrote in his first critique: Space is not a discursive, or as one says, general concept of relations of things in general, but a pure intuition. This is simply saying we shouldn't confuse the immediate experience of space with the concepts that we use to talk about it; this actually has been important in both physics and geometry, especially because ...


6

Temporal logic tries to account for the affect that time has on the truth value of sentences. It's an extension of classical logic that adds some new operators. Classical logic is tenseless, meaning that it's statements are independent of time beyond the present. It can make sense of statements like: "Bachelors are unmarried males." "If a number is ...


6

We do not perceive time, of course. What we do perceive, albeit indirectly, is change: we see one situation, form a memory of it (or retain it in our short-term memory of what's happening), and then perceive another situation which differs from it. The notion of time is prompted by the notion of change; and the notion of a regular "flow" of time comes from a ...


6

I advocate Mulla Sadra's definition of time. A Persian religious scholar of 17th century who was also a genius of the Islamic tradition of Peripatetic, Neo-platonic Philosophy. He introduced innovative theories of epistemology, ontology, theology, and human bodily and intellectual (spiritual) development. In short, Mulla Sadra defines time as an ...


6

Time travel and moral dilemmas are a common pairing in science fiction because they can take things so seriously. One of the difficulties with exploring implications of moral codes is that they always seem "right" within a narrow scope within which they were created. However, it is much harder to determine if they are right in a wider scope without ...


6

Space and time are distinct concepts. The fact that relativity makes of time the fourth dimension doesn't mean that space and time are not treated distinctly, as you observe yourself. The metric of relativity makes it clear that one dimension receives a special treatment, in any referential. This is what the concept of time, as opposed to space, subsumes, ...


6

I think you're conflating a few things that are often conflated to reach your conclusion. I'll do my best to sort out what I think needs to happen: B-theory = past, present, future are identically facts with knowable truth-values. Libertarian freedom means that an agent can make "free choices" where free means not subject to any prior determination Prior ...


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