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Much current debate in the metaphysics of time is between A-theorists and B-theorists. Central to this debate is the assumption that time exists and that the task of metaphysics is to catalogue time’s features. Relatively little consideration has been given to an error theory about time. Since there is very little extant work on temporal error theory the goal of this paper is simply to lay the groundwork to allow future discussion of the relative merits of such a view. The paper thus develops a conceptual framework from within which to evaluate claims about the actual existence, or not, of temporality as that notion appears in folk discourses about time, and from there to examine claims about the counterfactual existence, or not, of temporality so conceived. We subsequently apply this framework to three extant positions drawn from physics and metaphysics that deny the existence of time. We show that only one of these positions is a folk temporal error theory; that is, a view that denies the existence of time as that notion is operative in our everyday thought and talk.


Dianoia Institute of Philosophy

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Journal Article

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