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Transcendental Tense: J.R. Lucas

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Mellor’s argument from Kant fails. The difficulties in his first Antinomy are due to topological confusions, not the tensed nature of time. Nor are McTaggart’s difficulties due to the tensed nature of time. The ego-centricity of tensed discourse is an essential feature of communication between selves, each of whom refers himself as ‘I’, and is required for talking about time as well as experience and agency.

Arguments based on the Special Theory are misconceived. Some rest on a confused notion of ‘topological simultaneity’. In the General Theory a cosmic time is defined, as also in quantum mechanics, where a natural present is defined by a unique hyperplane of collapse into eigen-ness.

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: Merton College, Oxford

Publication date: June 1, 1998

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