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space & time

space & time

A traditional realist position in ontology is that time and space have existence apart from the human mind. Idealists, by contrast, deny or doubt the existence of objects independent of the mind. Some anti-realists, whose ontological position is that objects outside the mind do exist, nevertheless doubt the independent existence of time and space.

 

eternalism

time is a dimension of reality on a par with the three spatial dimensions, and hence that all things—past, present, and future—can be said to be just as real as things in the present

presentism 

time is an ordering of various realities. At a certain time some things exist and others do not

The problem of the direction of time arises directly from two contradictory facts. Firstly, the fundamental physical laws are time-reversal invariant

If a cinematographic film were taken of any process describable by means of the aforementioned laws and then played backwards, it would still portray a physically possible process. Secondly, our experience of time, at the macroscopic level, is not time-reversal invariant. Glasses can fall and break, but shards of glass cannot reassemble and fly up onto tables. We have memories of the past, and none of the future. We feel we can’t change the past but can influence the future.

Solutions:

  • the causation solution
  • the thermodynamics solution
  • the laws solution

A third type of solution to the problem of the direction of time, although much less represented, argues that the laws are not time-reversal symmetric. For example, certain processes in quantum mechanics, relating to the weak nuclear force, are not time-reversible

 

reference: philosophy of space and time

image: stockphoto 2016

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