Argument Against McTaggart on Time

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xaul
 
Reply Mon 19 Apr, 2010 01:41 pm
Hello, other than my introduction, this is my first post! Also, in my introduction, I said that I do hope to give contributions to the forum outside of my asking for help with uni! Just because I know that making my first post a favour is poor etiquette, I intend to make a better impression later! OK, here goes:

I have a critical essay due in soon regarding McTaggart on time. I have done a fair amount of reading for arguments against him, but I can't help but feel there is a jump in his logic that everyone seems to overview when arguing against him.

In making his argument (that for time to have movement, it must exist in the A-series) he seems to use logic that begins with a presumption that time must be in either the A-series or the B-series. I can't see where he justifies this limitation.

Secondly, he then states that as time cannot be real within the a-series or the b-series, it must therefore be unreal. I also feel he is making a jump there. Basically his argument seems to go as follows:

1. If time is not real in the A-series or the B-series, then it must be unreal.
2. Time is not real in the A-series or the B-series.
therefore
3. Time must be unreal.

I feel that his entire piece, 'The Unreality of Time' is spent on explaining and justifying premise 2. However, I feel that he fails to convince me of Premise 1.

I just think that he seems to be presuming Premise 1 with no justification, or, alternatively, is using logic of 'if I can't explain it, it must be unreal' which just seems arrogant to me.

What would be of help would be:

i) Is there any published philosopher who covers my observations that I could read up on to improve or disprove my argument, and
ii) if not, are my observations reasonable, or have I missed something?

Thanks in advance to all replies!
 
ughaibu
 
Reply Mon 19 Apr, 2010 01:55 pm
@xaul,
xaul;154086 wrote:
Hello, other than my introduction, this is my first post! Also, in my introduction, I said that I do hope to give contributions to the forum outside of my asking for help with uni! Just because I know that making my first post a favour is poor etiquette, I intend to make a better impression later! OK, here goes:

I have a critical essay due in soon regarding McTaggart on time. I have done a fair amount of reading for arguments against him, but I can't help but feel there is a jump in his logic that everyone seems to overview when arguing against him.

In making his argument (that for time to have movement, it must exist in the A-series) he seems to use logic that begins with a presumption that time must be in either the A-series or the B-series. I can't see where he justifies this limitation.

Secondly, he then states that as time cannot be real within the a-series or the b-series, it must therefore be unreal. I also feel he is making a jump there. Basically his argument seems to go as follows:

1. If time is not real in the A-series or the B-series, then it must be unreal.
2. Time is not real in the A-series or the B-series.
therefore
3. Time must be unreal.

I feel that his entire piece, 'The Unreality of Time' is spent on explaining and justifying premise 2. However, I feel that he fails to convince me of Premise 1.

I just think that he seems to be presuming Premise 1 with no justification, or, alternatively, is using logic of 'if I can't explain it, it must be unreal' which just seems arrogant to me.

What would be of help would be:

i) Is there any published philosopher who covers my observations that I could read up on to improve or disprove my argument, and
ii) if not, are my observations reasonable, or have I missed something?

Thanks in advance to all replies!
I suggest you start with Q.Smith: Quentin Smith Philosophy of Time
 
xaul
 
Reply Thu 22 Apr, 2010 08:22 pm
@xaul,
essay submitted, I had a look at Smith, I think I'll go back to it soon, as I'm wanting a break from time just now! Thanks for the reply!
 
RD Ingthorsson
 
Reply Sat 24 Apr, 2010 06:08 am
@xaul,
Apparently too late, but here is an article on McTaggart that might shed some light on McTaggart's argument: http://dro.dur.ac.uk/6089/1/6089.pdf
To answer your query on what you call premise 1, then the reason why he thinks it is OK to assume this, is that other alternatives just aren't around. What type of temporal series has he missed? The premise is valid until someone gives a third type of series that is temporal. You will be famous if you can come up with one. Although, you will have to have in mind that he only claims to have identified two types of series (or ways of temporal succession) that are popularly thought to be temporal, and then he goes on to show they really aren't.

R.D. Ingthorsson
 
philosophyhelp
 
Reply Sat 1 May, 2010 03:40 am
@xaul,
not a fan of mctaggart.
 
Lebro123
 
Reply Tue 8 Jun, 2010 06:35 am
@xaul,
Thanks alooooot for this information
 
 

 
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