Is 'What is time?' a good question to ask?

Read, Rupert (2002) Is 'What is time?' a good question to ask? Philosophy, 77 (2). pp. 193-209. ISSN 1469-817X

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Abstract

Dummett in his recent paper in Philosophy replies in the negative to the question, “Is time a continuum of instants?” But Dummett seems to think that this negative reply entails giving an alternative theoretical account; he nowhere canvasses the possibility that there is something amiss with the question. In other words, Dummett thinks that he still has to reply to the question, “What (then) is time?” I offer no answer whatsover to such ‘questions’. Rather, I ask what it could possibly mean to say that time is (e.g.) a continuum of instants (and by extension, whether it can mean anything at all to assert that it isn't). In the course of doing so, I suggest that Dummett's ‘Anti-Realism’ is invariably a form of Realism, just a subtly inconsistent form. Anti-Realism keeps the fundamental metaphysical picture of Realism intact. Anti-Realism still thinks that there is a Reality...settling whether Realism or Anti-Realism is correct! ‘Anti-Realism’ is never anti-Realist enough.

Item Type: Article
Faculty \ School: Faculty of Arts and Humanities > School of Philosophy
University of East Anglia > Faculty of Arts and Humanities > Research Groups > Philosophy and the Arts
University of East Anglia > Faculty of Arts and Humanities > Research Groups > Philosophy of Nature and the Environment
University of East Anglia > Faculty of Arts and Humanities > Research Groups > Wittgenstein and the Wittgensteinian tradition
University of East Anglia > Faculty of Arts and Humanities > Research Groups > Philosophy
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Depositing User: EPrints Services
Date Deposited: 01 Oct 2010 14:56
Last Modified: 25 Jul 2018 07:18
URI: https://ueaeprints.uea.ac.uk/id/eprint/8913
DOI: 10.1017/S0031819102000244

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