, Volume 38, Issue 2, pp 257–264

McTaggart and Modern Physics


DOI: 10.1007/s11406-009-9212-6

Cite this article as:
Monton, B. Philosophia (2010) 38: 257. doi:10.1007/s11406-009-9212-6


This paper delves into McTaggart’s metaphysical account of reality without time, and compares and contrasts McTaggart’s account with the account of reality given by modern physics. This comparison is of interest, because there are suggestions from contemporary physics that there is no time at the fundamental level. Physicists and philosophers of physics recognize that we do not have a good understanding of how the world could be such that time is unreal. I argue that, from the perspective of one who is trying to understand modern physics, McTaggart’s metaphysical views do provide some insight into how reality can be timeless at the fundamental level, but the insight that they provide is limited.


McTaggartTimePhysicsSpecial relativityGeneral relativityQuantum gravity

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of PhilosophyUniversity of Colorado at BoulderBoulderUSA