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Monday, January 27, 2020

McTaggart Dynamic A and Static B Times

The Scottish philosopher John McTaggart described two different theories for time. His A time was a dynamic time that flowed from past to a knife edge present into an indeterminate future. McTaggart argued that this A time could not be real since the infinity of present moments was inconsistent with the past and future moments.



McTaggart’s B time was a static time of a series of determinate moments that exist like a videotape waiting to be played. Ironically, McTaggart concluded that neither theory of time was valid and so that time was therefore not actually a part of reality. Reality was, rather, timeless and changeless despite our experience and memory of change.



Emily Thomas has recent essay in Aeon discusses McTaggart theories, but she does not really say if she agreed with McTaggart. Rather, she is more interested in Mctaggart’s motivation in describing time in the ways that he did.

Of course, time has many very different definitions and many different people have struggled for a long time to define time. One of the difficulties of defining time is that a definition of time necessarily occurs in the same time that the definition tries to define. However, instead of first defining time as an independent dimension, it is important to first define the nature of physical reality. Since we do experience changes in a seemingly static world of matter, it is clear that time somehow must emerge from matter changes in physical reality. Furthermore, those matter changes are causally related to each other as precursors and outcomes and changes therefore have relationships to one another from which time then emerges.

Change seems to occur as a dynamic reality not unlike A time and this dynamic change seems to likewise occur in a backdrop of a seemingly static reality of matter, much like B time. These two realities indeed seem reminiscent of McTaggart’s time definitions and so there are actually two dimensions for matter-action time. The static reality really just represents very slow changes since the universe changes only very slowly. This very slow time is then universe time and differs from the dynamic or very fast atomic time, which changes on the order of the speed of light.

This two dimensional matter-action time means that there are two kinds of changes in physical reality and the two time dimensions emerge that are not the same. Our feeling of time then emerges from changes that we remember and so those changes do not occur in time. There are very slow changes along with very fast changes and so there are two different time dimensions that emerge from the nature of physical reality.

Light exchange is the glue that holds matter together and both space and time then emerge from that light exchange. While the speed of light does not depend on the velocity of its source, light does accelerate very slowly over the very slow universe time. Quantum gravity relativity emerges from the very slow acceleration of light, which makes gravity relativity seem determinate, while quantum charge emerges from the very fast speed of light. While the very slow acceleration of light binds neutral matter with light exchange, the very fast speed of light binds charge with light exchange.

The Scottish philosopher John McTaggart described two different theories for time. His A time was a dynamic time that flowed from past to a knife edge present into an indeterminate future. McTaggart argued that this A time could not be real since the infinity of present moments was inconsistent with the past and future moments.

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