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A Brief History of the Philosophy of Time$
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Adrian Bardon

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780199976454

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2013

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199976454.001.0001

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Time and Freedom

Time and Freedom

(p.138) Chapter 7 Time and Freedom
A Brief History of the Philosophy of Time

Adrian Bardon

Oxford University Press

Is the future already written? According to the static theory of time, all so-called ‘future’ events timelessly BE, distributed over the temporal dimension of spacetime. Since static theory seems to suggest that all facts just are what they are, with no distinction between the future and the ‘settled’ past, it might be taken to imply that we cannot change the future: if there is only one way for things to go, then we can’t choose otherwise than we in fact do. How can we be free, if we can’t choose otherwise than we do? Is the impossibility of free will really a consequence of the static theory of time? (And, if so, would this consequence be a reason to reject that theory?)

Keywords:   fatalism, determinism, compatibilism, libertarian freedom, Aristotle, Chrysippus, Leibniz

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