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International Journal for Ontology and Metaphysics

Managing Editor: Koridze, Georg

Ed. by Hüntelmann, Rafael / Meixner, Uwe / Tegtmeier, Erwin

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Temporal Phenomena, Ontology and the R-theory

L. Nathan Oaklander
Published Online: 2015-08-11 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/mp-2015-0018


One of the more serious criticisms of the B-theory is that by denying the passage of time or maintaining that passage is a mind-dependent illusion or appearance, the B-theory gives rise to a static, block universe and thereby removes what is most distinctively timelike about time. The aim of this paper is to discuss the R-theory of time, after Russell, who Richard Gale calls “the father of the B-theory,” and explain how the R-theory can respond to the criticisms just raised, and others. In the course of my discussion I shall clarify differences between versions of the A-, B- and R-theories of time, and argue that McTaggart’s conception of the B-series and more specifically, the B-relations that generate it, has been instrumental in misconstruing the A-/B-theory debate resulting in criticisms of the B-theory that can be seen to be fallacious when applied to the R-theory.

Keywords: A-theory; B-theory; R-theory; B-relations; temporal passage; tense


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About the article

Published Online: 2015-08-11

Published in Print: 2015-09-18

Citation Information: Metaphysica, Volume 16, Issue 2, Pages 253–269, ISSN (Online) 1874-6373, ISSN (Print) 1437-2053, DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/mp-2015-0018.

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