2023 Visitors and Events
March, Al Wilson
Al Wilson is professor of philosophy at the Birmingham University. He works in metaphysics and the philosophy of physics, and has a book on the many worlds interpretation of quantum mechanics.
July, Jonathan Tallant
Jonathan Tallant is professor of philosophy at Nottingham University. He works in metaphysics on the nature of time and truth and has several books in both areas.
July, David Ingram
David Ingram is a lecturer at York University. He has published widely (including with Jonathan Tallant) defending presentism (a view about the nature of time) as well as working on truth and truth making.
July, Emily Thomas
Emily is an associate professor at Durham University.
She is an historian of philosophy, focusing on seventeenth to early twentieth century metaphysics. focussing on time and space.
July 2023 - July 2024 Brian Epstein
Brian is an associate professor at Tufts. He is interested in the philosophy of social science, metaphysics, and philosophy of language, focusing in particular on issues in the theory of reference and the ontology of social kinds.
July-December, Hannah Tierney
Hannah is a lecturer at UC Davis. She works primarily in ethics on issues related to blame and responsibility, but she also has some joint work with the Centre for Time on the rationality of time biases.
July-December, David Glick
David is a lecturer at UC Davis. He works on the foundations of quantum mechanics, and more broadly in the philosophy of science.
August-November, Natalja Deng
Natalja is an Associate Professor at Yonsei University in Korea. She has published widely on the nature of time and temporal experience, as well as laterally on certain forms of time bias.
The centre frequently runs small, specialised workshops on various aspects of the nature of time and our experience thereof.
Sign up to receive email alerts here.
To see previous workshops we have run, visit our archive here.
N 494, Main Quad, University of Sydney
David Builes, Princeton
Center Indifference and Skepticism
Abstract: Many philosophers have been attracted to a restricted version of the principle of indifference in the case of self-locating belief. My first goal is to defend a more precise version of this principle. After responding to several existing criticisms of such a principle, I argue that existing formulations of the principle are crucially ambiguous, and I go on to defend a particular disambiguation of the principle. According to the disambiguation I defend, how one should apply this restricted principle of indifference sensitively depends on one's background metaphysical views about time and modality. My second goal is to apply this disambiguated principle to classical skeptical problems in epistemology. In particular, I will argue that Eternalism threatens to lead us to external world skepticism, and Modal Realism threatens to lead us to inductive skepticism.
10.00-11.00 Brian Epstein, Tufts
The Architecture of Legal Determination
1.00-2.00 Jonathan Tallant, Nottingham
Being and Doing.
2.00-3.00 Emily Thomas, Durham
From Unreal Time to Static-Dynamic Time: British Metaphysics 1880s-1920s
3.30-4.30 Helen Beebee, Leeds,
4.30-5.30 Dave Ingram, York
How to Build a Dynamical Theory of Time
Time, Space, and All the Rest
This workshop will take place in N494 in the Main Quad at the University of Sydney. A zoom link will be disseminated shortly.
Sam Baron, ACU
Dialetheism and the A-theory
According to dialetheism, there are some true contradictions. According to the A-theory, the passage of time is a mind-independent feature of reality. I argue that by appealing to dialetheism one can explain why time passes. I start by considering an existing dialethic account of passage developed by Priest. I show that Priest's approach does not provide the kind of passage that many A-theorists want. I then develop a new dialetheic account of passage that explains why the present moves. I compare my explanation of why the present moves with one provided by Skow and argue that the dialethic account is preferable because, unlike Skow's account, it does not presuppose that the spatial configuration of the universe is always changing.
Jessica Pohlmann, ACU
“A new modal account of existential dependence”
Modal accounts of existential dependence have become unpopular in contemporary metaphysics. Such accounts, it is argued, fail to accurately characterize existential dependence when applied to the non-contingent domain. Accordingly, many philosophers have opted for an hyperintensional account of existential dependence, one that employs the notion of essence. I argue, however, that existential dependence can indeed be characterised in modal terms. I develop a new modal account of existential dependence that combines Mackie’s ‘INUS’ framework for causation with situation theory, developed by Barwise and Perry. I show that this framework can support an asymmetric notion of existential dependence within the non-contingent domain.
Al Wilson, Birmingham
Naturalism: Modal and Spatiotemporal
Time and modality have classically been conceived as domains to be investigated a priori, drawing on either rational insight (perhaps in its contemporary guise, philosophical intuition) or transcendental reasoning. Even contemporary philosophers of physics fall back on a priori considerations when considering e.g. the range of possible spacetimes. Scientific investigation is given a minimal role in modal discovery, typically being restricted to identifying which of the a-priori-identified possibilities we inhabit. In this talk I offer an alternative, starting with a radically naturalistic account of the metaphysics of modality, and showing how it leads to a naturalistic modal epistemology for space and time.
Anthony Bigg, Sydney
The Open Future
Coincidence and the relationship between mereology and location.
Sometimes people that are not averse to a pluralist interpretation of cases of coincidence describe typical cases in which numerically distinct objects share the same location and sometimes these are described as sharing all of the same parts. One might wonder whether then if the standard cases of coincidence are like this then perhaps it is necessary and sufficient for some objects to be coincident that they are both mereological and locativly coincident. I will first explore the related idea that the definitions of locative coincidence and mereological coincidence are co-extensive and develop principles that necessitate this co-extension. However, what I will argue is that these principles that might initially seem plausible result in a far too restrictive relationship between location and mereology. There are many instances in which some distinct objects satisfy one but not the other definition and as a result, are disallowed by these principles. Furthermore, these very cases can be constructed in such a way that they seem just as plausibly cases of coincidence as do the standard cases that we started with (the ones where both definitions are satisfied). Thus, whatever intuitions one might have regarding the possibility of standard cases of coincidence, it seems no less plausible that these other cases where one but not the other definition applies are possible and are also cases of coincidence. Consequently, from the point of view of the pluralist regarding cases of coincidence, the idea that the definitions of mereological and locative coincidence are co-extensive is unmotivated.
The Centre runs various conferences each year. Every year there is an international conference run as part of our membership of the International Association for he Philosophy of Time. Further details can be found here.
We are hoping to run a conference towards the end of this year on temporal ontology and time bias.
For details, please subscribe to the SydPhil mailing list.