On Special Relativity and Temporal Illusions
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According to metaphysical tensism, there is an objective, albeit ever changing, present moment corresponding to our phenomenal experiences (Ludlow in Philosophy of language, Oxford handbook on tense and aspect. Oxford University Press, Oxford, 2012; Brogaard and Marlow in Analysis 73(4):635–642, 2013). One of the principle objections to metaphysical tensism has been Einstein’s argument from special relativity, which says that given that the speed of light is constant, there is no absolute simultaneity defined in terms of observations of light rays (Einstein in Ann Phys 17:891–921, 1905). In a recent paper, Brogaard and Marlow (Analysis 73(4):635–642, 2013) argue that this objection fails. We argue that Brogaard and Marlow’s argument fails to show that special relativity does not pose a threat to metaphysical tensism.
KeywordsSpecial Relativity Rest Frame Thought Experiment Inertial Frame Stationary Observer
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