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Being, Freedom, and MethodThemes from the Philosophy of Peter van Inwagen$
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John A. Keller

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780198715702

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2017

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198715702.001.0001

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Time Travel and the Movable Present

Time Travel and the Movable Present

Chapter:
(p.80) 4 Time Travel and the Movable Present
Source:
Being, Freedom, and Method
Author(s):

Sara Bernstein

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198715702.003.0005

This paper proposes a new model of time travel based on van Inwagen’s “Changing the Past” (2010). Van Inwagen argues that a time traveler can change the past without paradox in a growing block universe. After erasing the portion of past existence that generates paradox, a new, non-paradox-generating block can be “grown” after the temporal relocation of the time traveler. The paper draws out and explores the underlying mechanism of van Inwagen’s model: the time traveler’s control over the location of the objective present. It is suggested that van Inwagen’s model gives tools for a new model of time travel altogether. This type of time travel is called Movable Objective Present, or MOP. After defining MOP, the paper argues that it is compatible with any theory of time that accepts hypertime, including presentism and moving spotlight theory.

Keywords:   time travel, movable present, presentism, growing block, hypertime

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