•  21
    This paper empirically investigates the contention that the folk concept of time is a functional concept: a concept according to which time is (and perhaps necessarily so) whatever actually plays certain functional roles. This hypothesis could explain why, in previous research, surprisingly large percentages of participants judge that there is time worlds that contain no one-dimensional substructure of ordered instants. If it seems to participants that even in those worlds certain functional rol…Read more
  •  43
    This paper empirically investigates one aspect of the folk concept of time (amongst US residents), by testing how the presence or absence of directedness impacts judgements about whether there is time in a world. Experiment 1 found that dynamists (those who think the actual world contains an A-series), showed significantly higher levels of agreement that there is time in dynamically directed (growing block) worlds than in non-dynamical non-directed (C-theory) worlds. Comparing our results to tho…Read more
  •  68
    What it would take to vindicate folk temporal error theory? This question is significant against a backdrop of new views in quantum gravity—so-called timeless physical theories—that claim to eliminate time by eliminating a one-dimensional substructure of ordered temporal instants. Ought we to conclude that if these views are correct, nothing satisfies the folk concept of time and hence that folk temporal error theory is true? In light of evidence we gathered, we argue that physical theories that…Read more
  •  72
    We argue that, insofar as one accepts either supersubstantivalism or strong composition as identity for the usual reasons, one has (defeasible) reasons to accept the other as well. Thus, all else being equal, one ought to find the package that combines both views—the Identity Package—more attractive than any rival package that includes one, but not the other, of either supersubstantivalism or composition as identity.
  •  24
    On Time and the Varieties of Science
    In Christophe Bouton & Philippe Huneman (eds.), Time of Nature and the Nature of Time, Springer Verlag. 2017.
    This paper proffers an account of why interdisciplinary research on, inter alia, the nature of time can be fruitful even if the disciplines in question have different explanatory projects. We suggest that the special sciences perform a subject setting role for lower-level disciplines such as physics. In essence, they tell us where, amongst a theory of the physical world, we should expect to locate phenomena such as temporality; they tell us what it would take for there to be time. Physical theo…Read more
  •  63
    According to the No Alternate Possibilities (NAP) argument, (1) if time passes then the rate at which it passes could be different but (2) time cannot pass at different rates, and hence (3) time cannot pass. Typically, defenders of the NAP argument have focussed on defending premise (1), and have taken the truth of (2) for granted: they accept the orthodox view of rate necessitarianism. In this paper we argue that the defender of the NAP argument needs to turn her attention to (2). We describe a…Read more
  •  100
    It has widely been assumed, by philosophers, that most people unambiguously have a phenomenology as of time passing, and that this is a datum that philosophical theories about both the nature of time, and experience, must accommodate. Moreover, it has been assumed that the greater the extent to which people have said phenomenology, the more likely they are to endorse a dynamical theory of time. This paper is the first to empirically test these assumptions. We found that, on average, participants…Read more
  •  34
    What is an Extended Simple Region?
    Philosophy and Phenomenological Research. forthcoming.
    The notion of an extended simple region (henceforth ESR) has recently been marshalled in the service of arguments for a variety of conclusions. Exactly how to understand the idea of extendedness as it applies to simple regions, however, has been largely ignored, or, perhaps better, assumed. In this paper we first (§1) outline what we take to be the standard way that philosophers are thinking about extendedness, namely as an intrinsic property of regions. We then introduce an alternative pictur…Read more
  •  61
    It is often supposed that metaphysical explanation is asymmetric: that for all x and y, if x metaphysically explains y, then y does not metaphysically explain x. Even amongst those who hold that metaphysical explanation is not asymmetric, but nonsymmetric, it is assumed that a relatively small number of particular explanations are symmetric: by and large, if x metaphysically explains y, then y does not metaphysically explain x. Both parties agree that as a matter of fact we at least typically ju…Read more
  •  90
    Surviving, to some degree
    Philosophical Studies 1-27. forthcoming.
    In this paper we argue that reflection on the patterns of practical concern that agents like us exhibit strongly suggests that the same person relation (SP-relation) comes in continuous degrees rather than being an all or nothing matter. We call this the SP-degree thesis. Though the SP-degree thesis is consistent with a range of views about personal-identity, we argue that combining desire-first approaches to personal-identity with the SP-degree thesis better explains our patterns of practical c…Read more
  •  90
    Empirical investigation of the conditions under which people prefer, or disprefer, causal explanation, has suggested to many that our judgements about what causally explains what are context sensitive in a number of ways. This has led many to suppose that whether or not a causal explanation obtains depends on various contextual factors, and that said explanations can obtain in one context, and not in another: they are both subjective and agent-relative. Surprisingly, most accounts of metaphysica…Read more
  •  125
    Dating - Philosophy for Everyone: Flirting with Big Ideas (edited book)
    with Marlene Clark
    Wiley-Blackwell. 2011.
    Progressing from the first flirtatious moment of eye contact to the selection of a “mate,” this enlightening book offers playful philosophical explorations of the dating game for anyone who has dated, is dating, or intends to date again. Offers amusing and enlightening philosophical insights into the dating game Helps demystify coupling in the 21 st century for those young daters just entering the fray, and those veterans returning to the game Features contributions from a wide range of discipli…Read more
  •  88
    Grounding at a Distance
    Philosophical Studies 1-18. forthcoming.
    What distinguishes causation from grounding? One suggestion is that causation, but not grounding, occurs over time. Recently, however, counterexamples to this simple temporal criterion have been offered. In this paper, we situate the temporal criterion within a broader framework that focuses on two aspects: locational overlapping in space and time and the presence of intermediaries in space and time. We consider, and reject, the idea that the difference between grounding and causation is that gr…Read more
  •  91
    Many philosophers hold that ‘one-instant worlds’—worlds that contain a single instant—fail to contain time. We experimentally investigate whether these worlds satisfy the folk concept of time. We found that ~50% of participants hold that there is time in such worlds. We argue that this suggests one of two possibilities. First, the population disagree about whether at least one of the A-, B-, or C-series is necessary for time, with there being a substantial sub-population for whom the presence of…Read more
  •  131
    Eternalists believe that there is no ontological difference between the past, present and future. Thus, a challenge arises: in virtue of what does time have a direction? Some eternalists (including Maudlin (2007), Oaklander (2012) and Tegtmeier (1996; 2009; 2014; 2016)) argue that the direction of time is primitive. A natural response to positing primitive directionality is the suspicion that said posit is too mysterious to do any explanatory work. The aim of this paper is to relieve primitive d…Read more
  •  151
    Recent research (Latham, Miller and Norton, forthcoming) reveals that a majority of people represent actual time as dynamical. But do they, as suggested by McTaggart and Gödel, represent time as essentially dynamical? This paper distinguishes three interrelated questions. We ask (a) whether the folk representation of time is sensitive or insensitive: i.e., does what satisfies the folk representation of time in counterfactual worlds depend on what satisfies it actually—sensitive—or does is not de…Read more
  •  71
    From Proto-Forgiveness to Minimal Forgiveness
    Australasian Philosophical Review. forthcoming.
    In ‘Forgiveness, an Ordered Pluralism’, Fricker distinguishes two concepts of forgiveness, both of which are deployed in our forgiveness practices: moral justice forgiveness and gifted forgiveness. She then argues that the former is more explanatorily basic than the latter. We think Fricker is right about this. We will argue, however, that contra Fricker, it is a third more minimal concept that is most basic. Like Fricker, we will focus on the function of our practices, but in a way that is info…Read more
  •  83
    Forgiveness: From Conceptual Pluralism to Conceptual Ethics
    In Court Lewis (ed.), The Philosophy of Forgiveness, Volume V, Vernon. forthcoming.
    Forgiveness theorists focus a good deal on explicating the content of what they take to be a shared folk concept of forgiveness. Our empirical research, however, suggests that there is a range of concepts of forgiveness present in the population, and therefore that we should be folk conceptual pluralists about forgiveness. We suggest two possible responses on the part of forgiveness theorists: (1) to deny folk conceptual pluralism by arguing that forgiveness is a functional concept and (2) to ac…Read more
  •  129
    If time can pass, time can pass at different rates
    Analytic Philosophy. forthcoming.
    According to the No Alternate Possibilities argument, if time passes then the rate at which it passes could be different. Thus, time cannot pass, since if time passes, then necessarily it passes at a rate of 1 second per second. One response to this argument is to posit hypertime, and to argue that at different worlds, time passes at different rates when measured against hypertime. Since many A-theorists think we can make sense of temporal passage without positing hypertime, we pursue a differen…Read more
  •  139
    Non-naturalistic moral explanation
    with Samuel Baron, Mark Colyvan, and Michael Rubin
    Synthese. forthcoming.
    This paper focuses on a particular kind of non-naturalism: moral non-naturalism. Our primary aim is to argue that the moral non-naturalist places herself in an invidious position if she simply accepts that the non-natural moral facts that she posits are not explanatory. This has, hitherto, been the route that moral non-naturalists have taken. They have attempted to make their position more palatable by pointing out that there is reason to be suspicious of the explanatory criterion of ontological…Read more
  •  201
    Temporal Fictionalism for a Timeless World
    Philosophy and Phenomenological Research. forthcoming.
    Current debate in the metaphysics of time ordinarily assumes that we should be realists about time. Recently, however, a number of physicists and philosophers of physics have proposed that time will play no role in a completed theory of quantum gravity. This paper defends fictionalism about temporal thought, on the supposition that our world is timeless. We argue that, in the face of timeless physical theories, realism about temporal thought is unsustainable: some kind of anti-realism must be ad…Read more
  •  125
    What is an extended simple region?
    with Zachary Goodsell and Michael Duncan
    Philosophy and Phenomenological Research. forthcoming.
    The notion of an extended simple region (henceforth ESR) has recently been marshalled in the service of arguments for a variety of conclusions. Exactly how to understand the idea of extendedness as it applies to simple regions, however, has been largely ignored, or, perhaps better, assumed. In this paper we first (§1) outline what we take to be the standard way that philosophers are thinking about extendedness, namely as an intrinsic property of regions. We then introduce an alternative pictur…Read more
  •  154
    Ontology without hierarchy
    In Javier Cumpa (ed.), The Question of Ontology: The Contemporary Debate, Oxford University Press. forthcoming.
    It has recently become popular to suggest that questions of ontology ought be settled by determining, first, which fundamental things exist, and second, which derivative things depend on, or are grounded by, those fundamental things. This methodology typically leads to a hierarchical view of ontology according to which there are chains of entities, each dependent on the next, all the way down to a fundamental base. In this paper we defend an alternative ontological picture according to which the…Read more
  •  89
    This paper aims to provide an overview of the conceptual terrain of what we call conative accounts of personal identity. These are views according to which the same-person relation in some sense depends on a range of broadly conative phenomena, especially desires, behaviours and conventions. We distinguish views along three dimensions: what role the conations play, what kinds of conations play that role, and whether the conations that play that role are public or private. We then offer a more de…Read more
  •  76
    Contingentism in Metaphysics
    In Rikki Bliss & James Miller (eds.), The Routledge Handbook of Metametaphysics, Routledge. forthcoming.
    Let us distinguish two kinds of contingentism: entity contingentism and metaphysical contingentism. Here, I use ‘entity’ very broadly to include anything over which we can quantify—objects (abstract and concrete), properties, and relations. Then entity contingentism about some entity, E, is the view that E exists contingently: that is, that E exists in some possible worlds and not in others. By contrast, entity necessitarianism about E is the view that E exists of necessity: that is, that E exi…Read more
  •  90
    On believing that time does not flow, but thinking that it seems to
    with Alex Holcombe and Andrew James Latham
    Behavioral and Brain Sciences 42. 2019.
    Hoerl & McCormack posit two systems – the temporal updating system and the temporal reasoning system – and suggest that they explain an inherent contradiction in people's naïve theory of time. We suggest there is no contradiction. Something does, however, require explanation: the tension between certain sophisticated beliefs about time, and certain phenomenological states or beliefs about those phenomenological states. The temporal updating mechanism posited by H&M may contribute to this tension…Read more
  •  148
    Does it really seem as though time passes?
    In Adrian Bardon, V. Artsila, Sean Enda Power & A. Vatakis (eds.), The Illusions of Time: Philosophical and Psychological Essays on Timing and Time Perception, Palgrave Mcmillan. 2019.
    It is often assumed that it seems to each of us as though time flows, or passes. On that assumption it follows either that time does in fact pass, and then, pretty plausibly, we have mechanisms that detect its passage, or that time does not pass, and we are subject to a pervasive phenomenal illusion. If the former is the case, we are faced with the explanatory task of spelling out which perceptual or cognitive mechanism (or combination thereof) allows us to detect and track time’s passage (§2.1)…Read more
  •  142
    We investigated, experimentally, the contention that the folk view, or naïve theory, of time, amongst the population we investigated (i.e. U.S. residents) is dynamical. We found that amongst that population, (i) ~70% have an extant theory of time (the theory they deploy after some reflection, whether it be naïve or sophisticated) that is more similar to a dynamical than a non-dynamical theory, and (ii) ~70% of those who deploy a naïve theory of time (the theory that have on the basis of naïve in…Read more
  •  123
    Hedonic and non-hedonic bias towards the future
    Australasian Journal of Philosophy 1-16. forthcoming.
    It has widely been assumed, by philosophers, that our first-person preferences regarding pleasurable and painful experiences exhibit a bias toward the future (positive and negative hedonic future-bias), and that our preferences regarding non-hedonic events (both positive and negative) exhibit no such bias (non-hedonic time-neutrality). Further, it has been assumed that our third-person preferences are always time-neutral. Some have attempted to use these (presumed) differential patterns of futur…Read more
  •  66
    A Blast From The Past
    The Philosophers' Magazine 77 82-86. 2017.
    That we find the idea of travelling in time, and in particular travelling backwards in time, fascinating, is evidenced by the plethora of new science fictions shows depicting time travel that hit our TV screens in 2016. I love time travel shows, and I can hardly keep up. In almost all cases these shows depict what philosophers call inconsistent time travel stories: stories that commit what my colleague Nick Smith (The University of Sydney) calls the second time around fallacy. These stories dep…Read more