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Tense, Passage and Change, Sans Rate Raleigh Miller I. Introduction
In this paper I will be discussing the dynamic view of time. According to the dynamic view of time, time flows, or passes. This thesis has been taken to imply that temporal passage is, in important ways, analogous to passage through space. There is a present moment, a now moment, but the now index is not invariant in its temporal location. The now moves from moment to moment, from earlier moments to later moments. Moments that

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Tense, Passage and Change, Sans Rate
Raleigh Miller
I.
Introduction
In
this paper
I
will be discussi
n
g the dy
n
amic view of time. Accordi
n
g to the dy
n
amic view of time,time flows, or passes. This thesis has bee
n
take
n
to imply that temporal passage is, i
n
importa
n
t ways,a
n
alogous to passage through space. There is a prese
n
t mome
n
t, a
now
mome
n
t, but the
now
i
n
dex is
n
ot i
n
varia
n
t i
n
its temporal locatio
n
. The
now
moves from mome
n
t to mome
n
t, from earlier mome
n
tsto later mome
n
ts. Mome
n
ts that are
n
t
now
are
n
ot statically past (earlier tha
n
the
n
ow) or future(later tha
n
the
n
ow) but are cha
n
gi
n
g i
n
their past
n
ess or futurity. Prese
n
tly future mome
n
ts arebecomi
n
g less a
n
d less future as the
now
moves alo
n
g, while prese
n
tly past mome
n
ts are becomi
n
gmore a
n
d more past.The dy
n
amic view of time is of co
n
siderable disrepute. A
n
umber of co
n
ceptual difficulties seemto advise agai
n
st taki
n
g the imagery of temporal passage literally. No
n
etheless, we
n
eed
n
t take a
n
image literally i
n
order to take it seriously.
In
this paper,
I
will be argui
n
g for a
n
u
n
dersta
n
di
n
g of temporal passage that is immu
n
e to several ca
n
o
n
ical refutatio
n
s of the dy
n
amic view of time. Thepaper will be structured as a respo
n
se to Eric Olso
n
s brief a
n
d i
n
cisive (2009) article. Olso
n
s argume
n
tis perfectly simple.1.
Talk of rate of time
s passage is co
n
ceptually co
n
fused.2.
The dy
n
amic view requires a rate of time
s passage.3.
A
n
y te
n
sed theory of time requires the dy
n
amic view.4.
Therefore, all te
n
sed theories of time are false.The te
n
sed theory of time is the claim that te
n
se is real. Some temporal properties are te
n
seless. T
1
is te
n
selessly earlier tha
n
T
2
, te
n
selessly later tha
n
T
3
, a
n
d te
n
selessly simulta
n
eous with T
4
.
I
f theserelatio
n
s amo
n
g times obtai
n
, they obtai
n
eter
n
ally. Other temporal properties are te
n
sed. T
1
isprese
n
t.
I
t was
n
t always, a
n
d wo
n
t always be. T
1
was future, but it is
n
o lo
n
ger. T
1
is
n
ot yet past, butit will be. Bei
n
g prese
n
t
, bei
n
g past
a
n
d bei
n
g future
are properties that i
n
here i
n
T
1
tra
n
sie
n
tly.
Accordi
n
g to te
n
sed theories of time, our te
n
de
n
cy to say thi
n
gs like T
1
is past
is
not
just a
n
li
n
guisticartifact of some uttera
n
ce
s bei
n
g located at a time T
2
(somethi
n
g that is eter
n
ally true) combi
n
ed withT
2
s bei
n
g later tha
n
T
1
(somethi
n
g that is eter
n
ally true). Rather, times have te
n
sed properties i
n
virtueof reality
s bei
n
g ge
n
ui
n
ely te
n
sed. T
2
is past iff T
2
is (
simpliciter
) either
n
o
n
existe
n
t or o
n
tologicallydeficie
n
t, but T
2
once had
the sort of o
n
tologically robust status gra
n
ted to the prese
n
t mome
n
t. Olso
n
argues that co
n
ceivi
n
g of reality as ge
n
ui
n
ely te
n
sed requires the dy
n
amic view of time. This is a veryplausible claim. The imagery of a series of mome
n
ts that cha
n
ge i
n
their te
n
sed properties suggests a
n
i
n
dex (with refere
n
ce to which such properties are determi
n
ed) that moves alo
n
g the series.
I
thi
n
k that Olso
n
s argume
n
t is a
n
extremely suggestive a
n
d valuable starti
n
g poi
n
t for a discussio
n
of the relatio
n
ship betwee
n
te
n
se, passage, tra
n
sie
n
ce, a
n
d cha
n
ge. There is a
n
eleme
n
t of truth i
n
allthree premises, but a short exploratio
n
will make it clear that they are
n
ot all true i
n
a way that makestheir co
n
ju
n
ctio
n
e
n
tail Olso
n
s sweepi
n
g rejectio
n
of te
n
sed theories. Seei
n
g how this is the case willtake us a co
n
siderable dista
n
ce towards clarifyi
n
g some co
n
cepts that are ce
n
tral to a cohere
n
t o
n
tologyof time, so refuti
n
g of Olso
n
s argume
n
t should accomplish a great deal more tha
n
merely defe
n
di
n
gte
n
sed theories of time agai
n
st o
n
e amo
n
g ma
n
y argume
n
ts for their falsity. The paper will take up allthree premises i
n
their tur
n
, a
n
d i
n
order.
I
will co
n
clude that premise two depe
n
ds upo
n
a particular u
n
dersta
n
di
n
g of temporal passage.
I
f o
n
e u
n
dersta
n
ds temporal passage i
n
o
n
e way (the correct way,
I
thi
n
k) the
n
premise two is false. But if Olso
n
wa
n
ts to i
n
sist o
n
a
n
u
n
dersta
n
di
n
g of passage that re
n
ders premise two true, the
n
he forgoes hisright to premise three. Thus we are left with
n
o compelli
n
g reaso
n
to reject dy
n
amism, a
n
d
n
o reaso
n
at all to reject te
n
sed theories of time.
II.
Olsons Argument Against Passage
The dy
n
amist claims that time passes. The passage of time is ofte
n
take
n
to refer to moveme
n
t of the
now
from earlier mome
n
ts to later mome
n
ts. Moveme
n
t happe
n
s at a rate. Dy
n
amism seems to
require that the
now
moves at some rate. But rate is a temporal measureme
n
t; how fast a car moves isa fu
n
ctio
n
of how much time the car takes to travel a certai
n
dista
n
ce.
I
f the rate of time
s passage is tobe a
n
alogous to spatial passage, the
n
we might ask how lo
n
g it takes the
now
to travel a certai
n
dista
n
ce. But the dista
n
ce i
n
questio
n
is temporal dista
n
ce. Measuri
n
g the dista
n
ce betwee
n
twotemporal poi
n
ts (say where the
now
is prese
n
tly, at 3:37 p.m. o
n
Mo
n
day, a
n
d 3:37 p.m. o
n
the comi
n
gTuesday) yields a temporal dista
n
ce, a time (roughly twe
n
ty-four hours). So aski
n
g after the rate of time
s passage is aski
n
g what temporal dista
n
ce is traveled duri
n
g a give
n
temporal i
n
terval. But, of course, the temporal dista
n
ce just
is
the temporal i
n
terval, so these two values will always be equal.That is, time moves at o
n
e seco
n
d per seco
n
d. Or o
n
e hour per hour. Or o
n
e year per year. Not a veryi
n
teresti
n
g rate. The dy
n
amist will express puzzleme
n
t at the appare
n
t requireme
n
t that the rate of time
s passage be a
n
i
n
teresti
n
g rate. Why ca
n
t the claim time passes at o
n
e seco
n
d per seco
n
d
betrue, eve
n
if u
n
i
n
teresti
n
g? But the problem is deeper tha
n
that, Olso
n
i
n
sists. O
n
e seco
n
d per seco
n
dis
n
ot just a
n
u
n
i
n
teresti
n
g rate, but
n
ot a rate at all. O
n
e seco
n
d per seco
n
d is o
n
e. O
n
e is
n
ot a rate.The argume
n
t is
n
ow:1.
Either time does
n
t pass at a rate, or it passes at a rate of o
n
e seco
n
d for seco
n
d.2.
O
n
e seco
n
d per seco
n
d is equal to o
n
e.3.
O
n
e is
n
ot a rate, a
n
d passi
n
g at a rate of o
n
e
is
n
o
n
se
n
se.4.
Therefore, time does
n
t pass at a rate of o
n
e seco
n
d per o
n
e seco
n
d.5.
Therefore time does
n
t pass at a rate.6.
I
f time passes, the
n
it passes at a rate.7.
Therefore, time does
n
t pass.This argume
n
t has prove
n
surprisi
n
gly resista
n
t to a barrage of straightforward respo
n
ses. Prior, fori
n
sta
n
ce, has claimed that acceleratio
n
provides a model for passage at o
n
e seco
n
d per seco
n
d, si
n
ceacceleratio
n
is expressed i
n
metres per seco
n
d per seco
n
d. (1968, 8-9) But this does
n
ot work. [Metre /seco
n
d / seco
n
d] is
n
ot equal to [metre / (seco
n
d / seco
n
d)], but rather [(metre/seco
n
d)/seco
n
d], whichco
n
tai
n
s
n
o i
n
sta
n
ce of (seco
n
d/seco
n
d). So the defe
n
se that says we have exta
n
t a
n
d perfectly
cohere
n
t examples of rates of seco
n
d/seco
n
d i
n
our physics must be aba
n
do
n
ed. We do
n
t, i
n
fact, evermeasure a
n
ythi
n
g i
n
seco
n
ds per seco
n
d.Perhaps if we ca
n
cha
n
ge o
n
e of the temporal values i
n
(seco
n
d/seco
n
d) i
n
to a
n
atemporalvalue, we ca
n
tra
n
slate (seco
n
d/seco
n
d) i
n
to a respectable ratio that does
n
t reduce to o
n
e. Perhapswe say that time passes at o
n
e hour per cycle of the mi
n
ute ha
n
d. Or perhaps time passes at o
n
eseco
n
d per 9 192631 770 periods of the radiatio
n
correspo
n
di
n
g to the tra
n
sitio
n
betwee
n
the twohyperfi
n
e levels of the grou
n
d state of the caesium-133 atom.
1
But this is does
n
ot work. Just as o
n
ehour passes per o
n
e cycle of the mi
n
ute ha
n
d, so o
n
e cycle of the mi
n
ute ha
n
d passes per hour, allowi
n
ga tra
n
slatio
n
of our
n
ew rate right back i
n
to the old o
n
e:1 hour 1 cycle 1 hour1 cycle x 1 hour = 1 hour = 1A rate that ca
n
be co
n
verted i
n
to 1 was equal to 1 to begi
n
with. Alo
n
g the same li
n
es, Schlesi
n
ger(1969; 1990, 30-3) suggests that time could pass at a rate i
n
dexed to a seco
n
d time dime
n
sio
n
. Wecould the
n
co
n
vert (1 seco
n
d / 1 seco
n
d) i
n
to a
n
other value that does
n
t reduce to 1. But this does
n
otwork. Olso
n
s argume
n
t ca
nn
ot be diffused by poi
n
ti
n
g to tra
n
slatio
n
of (1 seco
n
d) i
n
to (N seco
n
d
2
s)a
n
y more tha
n
it ca
n
be diffused by poi
n
ti
n
g to a
n
atemporal co
n
versio
n
of (1 seco
n
d). Whatever elsemight be true of the rate of time
s passage o
n
these alter
n
ative measureme
n
ts, it remai
n
s
also
true thattime passes at (1 seco
n
d / 1 seco
n
d). The srci
n
al rate has bee
n
co
n
verted,
n
ot falsified. A
n
d i
n
sofar asthe rate of time
s passage is (amo
n
g other thi
n
gs) (1 seco
n
d / 1 seco
n
d), the rate of time
s passage is 1,a
n
d that is
n
o
n
se
n
se.
I
f (1 seco
n
d/N seco
n
d
2
s) is the correct co
n
versio
n
of seco
n
ds i
n
to seco
n
d
2
s, the
n
Nseco
n
d
2
s is equal to 1 seco
n
d, a
n
d our
n
ew appare
n
tly cohere
n
t rate is equivale
n
t to our old i
n
cohere
n
trate of 1.
1
Bureau
In
ter
n
atio
n
al des Poids et Mesures. http://www.bipm.org/e
n
/si/si_brochure/chapter2/2-1/seco
n
d.html

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