Thursday, February 16, 2012

McTaggart on the unreality of time

We discussed a famous paper by John McTaggart called "The Unreality of Time" in my Metaphysics and Epistemology class. It can be a very confusing paper and so I thought I'd post some resources that might help clarify his argument. There are some resources on youtube like this and this. There are a number of class notes posted online. One has to be careful when using these--some are more reliable than others--but you might check out this and this. Probably the best place to start is the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy or the Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy (links are provided on the left-toolbar of this blog).


Heather Costello said...

I believe that the subject of time is difficult to described semantically and the words that we have to define what time is do not provide an efficient or appropriate definition. I think of time like light as we know light is always moving and at its apex visual but as it travels on dim or dulling but as it approaches the next phase (person) bright again. Where we are now is bright and in what we call seconds where we were is dim. Things can be fixed and change. Mc Taggart stated that time is contradictory and therefore cannot be real. A lot of things that are "contradictory" are real. Water, humans, plant growth, they all are phenomenal, contradictory in one way or another and they all three are real. Time is real we just have not been able to create a word or a definition that does it justice.

Vivek narain said...

Time definitely is unreal because it is totally intangible,Taggart went to great length to prove the unreality. As regard to tangibility space is the most tangible entity,matter gets tangibility only due to omnipresence of space. Space is dark by itself and so is energy. The light we see,the light that we call god is visible only when energy strikes matter,and what is matter but a matrix mainly composed of space. To end the argument all i say is that space is most tangible wheras time is totally intangible.