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A and B Theories of Time

stubs
Posts: 1,887
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7/17/2012 12:43:44 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
I know little about the two theories. Does anyone have any links or information they could post here so I could read them? Thanks.
DanteAlighieri
Posts: 42
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7/17/2012 1:42:44 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
McTaggart, The Unreality of Time ( http://www.ditext.com... ) is the first thing you should read since it is what set the debate about A and B theories into motion.

There are lots of philosophy articles online on this issue. See Yuri Balashov, Craig Callendar, Nathan Oaklander, Bradley Monton, Thomas Crisp, Michael Rea, Dean Zimmerman, William Craig, Quentin Smith, Michael Tooley, and others. I thnk two good introductory pieces to the debate is a defense of presentism by Thomas Crisp and a defense of eternalism by Michael Rea ( http://nd.edu... ) in the Oxford Handbook of Metaphysics. Here's a nice article by Crisp on relativity and presentism from Einstein, Relativity, and Absolute Simultaneity ( http://people.biola.edu... ) and here is an argument against Neo-Lorentzian views of GR by Yuri Balashov and Michael Janssen ( http://philsci-archive.pitt.edu... ).
Maikuru
Posts: 9,112
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7/17/2012 1:51:07 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
If memory serves, Mongeese and The Skeptic did a good debate comparing the theories.
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tBoonePickens
Posts: 3,266
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7/17/2012 7:04:12 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 7/17/2012 12:43:44 PM, stubs wrote:
I know little about the two theories. Does anyone have any links or information they could post here so I could read them? Thanks.

The Wiki article does a decent job on it.

A-Theory of Time: time is divided and ordered into past-present-future in which these 3 are NOT equally real. The past is immutable and no longer part of reality; the present IS reality; and the future is undetermined and not yet part of reality. It is common for A-Theorists to think of time as passing.

B-Theory of Time: time considers past-present-future ALL equally real; we know the most about the past and present and the least about the future. Time is more like a 4th dimension and so is it is commonly considered as spacetime to B-Theorists.

I subscribe to a mixture of the two and find it hard to fully see the differences.
WOS
: At 10/3/2012 4:28:52 AM, Wallstreetatheist wrote:
: Without nothing existing, you couldn't have something.
Lasagna
Posts: 2,440
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7/17/2012 10:21:35 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 7/17/2012 7:04:12 PM, tBoonePickens wrote:
At 7/17/2012 12:43:44 PM, stubs wrote:
I know little about the two theories. Does anyone have any links or information they could post here so I could read them? Thanks.

The Wiki article does a decent job on it.

A-Theory of Time: time is divided and ordered into past-present-future in which these 3 are NOT equally real. The past is immutable and no longer part of reality; the present IS reality; and the future is undetermined and not yet part of reality. It is common for A-Theorists to think of time as passing.

B-Theory of Time: time considers past-present-future ALL equally real; we know the most about the past and present and the least about the future. Time is more like a 4th dimension and so is it is commonly considered as spacetime to B-Theorists.

I subscribe to a mixture of the two and find it hard to fully see the differences.

I would agree, I see it mostly from the B perspective but at the same time I don't believe it is possible to navigate back and forth on it as if it were just another spacial dimension (although it most certainly is the fourth dimension by any sensible standard I can think of). The universe seems to protect itself from certain violations of reason, and time paradoxes, to me, are absurd to the point where I would never expect to have to grapple with them.
Rob
The_Fool_on_the_hill
Posts: 6,071
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7/17/2012 11:14:34 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 7/17/2012 10:21:35 PM, Lasagna wrote:
At 7/17/2012 7:04:12 PM, tBoonePickens wrote:
At 7/17/2012 12:43:44 PM, stubs wrote:
I know little about the two theories. Does anyone have any links or information they could post here so I could read them? Thanks.

The Wiki article does a decent job on it.

A-Theory of Time: time is divided and ordered into past-present-future in which these 3 are NOT equally real. The past is immutable and no longer part of reality; the present IS reality; and the future is undetermined and not yet part of reality. It is common for A-Theorists to think of time as passing.

B-Theory of Time: time considers past-present-future ALL equally real; we know the most about the past and present and the least about the future. Time is more like a 4th dimension and so is it is commonly considered as spacetime to B-Theorists.

I subscribe to a mixture of the two and find it hard to fully see the differences.

I would agree, I see it mostly from the B perspective but at the same time I don't believe it is possible to navigate back and forth on it as if it were just another spacial dimension (although it most certainly is the fourth dimension by any sensible standard I can think of). The universe seems to protect itself from certain violations of reason, and time paradoxes, to me, are absurd to the point where I would never expect to have to grapple with them.

The Fool: I am always skeptical at time being a 4 dimention, in that its not the same, as spatial dimentions. Gives me an un easy feeling, like its a hasty generialization.
"The bud disappears when the blossom breaks through, and we might say that the former is refuted by the latter; in the same way when the fruit comes, the blossom may be explained to be a false form of the plant's existence, for the fruit appears as its true nature in place of the blossom. These stages are not merely differentiated; they supplant one another as being incompatible with one another." G. W. F. HEGEL
ConservativePolitico
Posts: 8,210
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7/17/2012 11:18:17 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 7/17/2012 11:14:34 PM, The_Fool_on_the_hill wrote:
At 7/17/2012 10:21:35 PM, Lasagna wrote:
At 7/17/2012 7:04:12 PM, tBoonePickens wrote:
At 7/17/2012 12:43:44 PM, stubs wrote:
I know little about the two theories. Does anyone have any links or information they could post here so I could read them? Thanks.

The Wiki article does a decent job on it.

A-Theory of Time: time is divided and ordered into past-present-future in which these 3 are NOT equally real. The past is immutable and no longer part of reality; the present IS reality; and the future is undetermined and not yet part of reality. It is common for A-Theorists to think of time as passing.

B-Theory of Time: time considers past-present-future ALL equally real; we know the most about the past and present and the least about the future. Time is more like a 4th dimension and so is it is commonly considered as spacetime to B-Theorists.

I subscribe to a mixture of the two and find it hard to fully see the differences.

I would agree, I see it mostly from the B perspective but at the same time I don't believe it is possible to navigate back and forth on it as if it were just another spacial dimension (although it most certainly is the fourth dimension by any sensible standard I can think of). The universe seems to protect itself from certain violations of reason, and time paradoxes, to me, are absurd to the point where I would never expect to have to grapple with them.


The Fool: I am always skeptical at time being a 4 dimention, in that its not the same, as spatial dimentions. Gives me an un easy feeling, like its a hasty generialization.

The thing is, some people think it is like a spatial dimension in that if you were able to enter the 4th dimension you could move freely through it as we do the 3rd dimension. But just as a 2nd dimension picture cannot join the 3rd dimension on its own we have thus been unable to enter this 4th dimension. If you believe it exists.
Wnope
Posts: 6,924
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7/17/2012 11:18:23 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 7/17/2012 11:14:34 PM, The_Fool_on_the_hill wrote:
At 7/17/2012 10:21:35 PM, Lasagna wrote:
At 7/17/2012 7:04:12 PM, tBoonePickens wrote:
At 7/17/2012 12:43:44 PM, stubs wrote:
I know little about the two theories. Does anyone have any links or information they could post here so I could read them? Thanks.

The Wiki article does a decent job on it.

A-Theory of Time: time is divided and ordered into past-present-future in which these 3 are NOT equally real. The past is immutable and no longer part of reality; the present IS reality; and the future is undetermined and not yet part of reality. It is common for A-Theorists to think of time as passing.

B-Theory of Time: time considers past-present-future ALL equally real; we know the most about the past and present and the least about the future. Time is more like a 4th dimension and so is it is commonly considered as spacetime to B-Theorists.

I subscribe to a mixture of the two and find it hard to fully see the differences.

I would agree, I see it mostly from the B perspective but at the same time I don't believe it is possible to navigate back and forth on it as if it were just another spacial dimension (although it most certainly is the fourth dimension by any sensible standard I can think of). The universe seems to protect itself from certain violations of reason, and time paradoxes, to me, are absurd to the point where I would never expect to have to grapple with them.


The Fool: I am always skeptical at time being a 4 dimention, in that its not the same, as spatial dimentions. Gives me an un easy feeling, like its a hasty generialization.

It's not literally supposed to be a dimension. If you graph things in space-time instead of just space (i.e. four dimensions) it is easier to understand certain concepts, and thus we talk about "time" as a fourth dimension.

But it's simply a mathematical tool. Nothing more.
Wnope
Posts: 6,924
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7/17/2012 11:33:15 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
I've always found B does a better job describing empirical reality while A does a better job describing our intuitive experience of time.
The_Fool_on_the_hill
Posts: 6,071
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7/17/2012 11:47:32 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 7/17/2012 11:18:23 PM, Wnope wrote:
At 7/17/2012 11:14:34 PM, The_Fool_on_the_hill wrote:
At 7/17/2012 10:21:35 PM, Lasagna wrote:
At 7/17/2012 7:04:12 PM, tBoonePickens wrote:
At 7/17/2012 12:43:44 PM, stubs wrote:
I know little about the two theories. Does anyone have any links or information they could post here so I could read them? Thanks.

The Wiki article does a decent job on it.

A-Theory of Time: time is divided and ordered into past-present-future in which these 3 are NOT equally real. The past is immutable and no longer part of reality; the present IS reality; and the future is undetermined and not yet part of reality. It is common for A-Theorists to think of time as passing.

B-Theory of Time: time considers past-present-future ALL equally real; we know the most about the past and present and the least about the future. Time is more like a 4th dimension and so is it is commonly considered as spacetime to B-Theorists.

I subscribe to a mixture of the two and find it hard to fully see the differences.

I would agree, I see it mostly from the B perspective but at the same time I don't believe it is possible to navigate back and forth on it as if it were just another spacial dimension (although it most certainly is the fourth dimension by any sensible standard I can think of). The universe seems to protect itself from certain violations of reason, and time paradoxes, to me, are absurd to the point where I would never expect to have to grapple with them.


The Fool: I am always skeptical at time being a 4 dimention, in that its not the same, as spatial dimentions. Gives me an un easy feeling, like its a hasty generialization.

It's not literally supposed to be a dimension. If you graph things in space-time instead of just space (i.e. four dimensions) it is easier to understand certain concepts, and thus we talk about "time" as a fourth dimension.

But it's simply a mathematical tool. Nothing more.

The Fool: yeah I know that But I think little subtlies like that can have very bad consequences. And its worse because nobody will notice them. Because this is what I think is the biggest problem with a science. That is after a while THEY THINK IT IS REALLY A FOURTH DIMENSION. They forget, these things. They forget the theoritcal nature and think that is now the reality. That scares me, I feel we could be progressing to much faster. They do think like call the mind non-existing, to simplify thing and that cause disaster in progress.

Do you see what I mean? That is why science can't be left to rome around with out philosophy of the science. OR we get CRAZY(Tboones)
"The bud disappears when the blossom breaks through, and we might say that the former is refuted by the latter; in the same way when the fruit comes, the blossom may be explained to be a false form of the plant's existence, for the fruit appears as its true nature in place of the blossom. These stages are not merely differentiated; they supplant one another as being incompatible with one another." G. W. F. HEGEL
ConservativePolitico
Posts: 8,210
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7/17/2012 11:54:30 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 7/17/2012 11:33:15 PM, Wnope wrote:
I've always found B does a better job describing empirical reality while A does a better job describing our intuitive experience of time.

Exactly. We experience time as Theory A but time probably functions more like Theory B.
The_Fool_on_the_hill
Posts: 6,071
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7/18/2012 12:01:33 AM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 7/17/2012 11:54:30 PM, ConservativePolitico wrote:
At 7/17/2012 11:33:15 PM, Wnope wrote:
I've always found B does a better job describing empirical reality while A does a better job describing our intuitive experience of time.

Exactly. We experience time as Theory A but time probably functions more like Theory B.

The Fool: I havent experienced time like a theory, I must be losing my marble.

Can you explain how the 'time" probably functions more like B?
Now I am confused.
"The bud disappears when the blossom breaks through, and we might say that the former is refuted by the latter; in the same way when the fruit comes, the blossom may be explained to be a false form of the plant's existence, for the fruit appears as its true nature in place of the blossom. These stages are not merely differentiated; they supplant one another as being incompatible with one another." G. W. F. HEGEL
tBoonePickens
Posts: 3,266
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7/18/2012 12:08:52 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 7/17/2012 11:18:17 PM, ConservativePolitico wrote:
The thing is, some people think it is like a spatial dimension in that if you were able to enter the 4th dimension you could move freely through it as we do the 3rd dimension.
That's because it is a TEMPORAL dimension not a GEOMETRIC dimension.

But just as a 2nd dimension picture cannot join the 3rd dimension on its own we have thus been unable to enter this 4th dimension.
Here you are referring to a Geometric 4th dimension. It is not a matter of "entering" or "traveling" in the direction of the 4th dimension but rather OCCUPYING it. There is no need to "go" to any dimension because (if they exist) are already here!

When something is said to be 4th dimensional, it isn't that it's "in" a 4th dimension to the exclusion of the others, it's that it occupies a 1st, 2nd, 3rd, and 4th dimension. So in order for a circle from Flatland to "go" to a 3rd dimension, the circle needs to occupy 3 dimensions. It would need to be "filled up" in a way that it gains volume, thus occupying an INFINITE number of 2 dimensions making it a sphere, and in a 3rd dimension.

If you believe it exists.
String Theorists believe that there are 11 Dimensions in total: 1 Temporal and 10 Geometric dimensions. Of curse, there's zero empirical evidence for this.

***********************************

At 7/17/2012 11:18:23 PM, Wnope wrote:
It's not literally supposed to be a dimension. If you graph things in space-time instead of just space (i.e. four dimensions) it is easier to understand certain concepts, and thus we talk about "time" as a fourth dimension.

But it's simply a mathematical tool. Nothing more.
But that's what a dimension IS: a direction. It's not supposed to be a GEOMETRIC dimension (ie a direction in space) but it is supposed to be a TEMPORAL dimension (ie a direction in time.) It is true that we graph time geometrically as a conceptual tool, but then again, graphing IS geometry!

I've always found B does a better job describing empirical reality while A does a better job describing our intuitive experience of time.
Me too, that's why I cannot just pick one of the theories.
WOS
: At 10/3/2012 4:28:52 AM, Wallstreetatheist wrote:
: Without nothing existing, you couldn't have something.
Rational_Thinker9119
Posts: 9,054
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7/18/2012 6:29:12 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 7/17/2012 11:33:15 PM, Wnope wrote:
I've always found B does a better job describing empirical reality while A does a better job describing our intuitive experience of time.

This. A-Theory is more intuitive, but B-Theory is more scientifically supported.