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Licensed Unlicensed Requires Authentication Published by De Gruyter May 21, 2014

Points Don’t Pass – Against the Identity Theory of Passage

Thorben Petersen
From the journal Metaphysica


The basic divide in the metaphysics of time is between those who defend a dynamic view and those who defend a static view. Whereas the former hold that time does truly pass, the latter take the passage of time to be some sort of illusion. Recently, however, an alternative minority view developed, according to which passage is identical either with the succession of times in the four-dimensional manifold or with the temporally ordered sequence of events located at these. I want to argue that something is wrong with the identity theory of passage. If passage and time qua part of the manifold are identical, then talk of passage should be translatable into talk about time qua part of the manifold (and vice versa). I show that this is not always possible.


For their valuable comments, I would like to thank Florian Fischer, Tim Hesse, Florian Risch and, especially, Laurenz Hudetz, Manfred Stöckler and Wanja Thielmann. This paper would have looked very different without their help.


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Published Online: 2014-5-21
Published in Print: 2014-11-28

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