Making Sense of the Growing Block View

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8 Citations (Scopus)


In this paper, I try to make sense of the growing block view using Kit Fine’s three-fold classification of A-theoretic views of time. I begin by motivating the endeavor of making sense of the growing block view by examining John Earman’s project in ‘Reassessing the prospects for a growing block model of the universe’ (section 2). Next, I review Fine’s reconstruction of McTaggart’s argument and its accompanying three-fold classification of A-theoretic views (section 3). I then consider three interpretations of Earman’s growing block model: the hybrid growing block (section 4), the purely tensed growing block (section 5), and Michael Tooley’s growing block (section 6). I argue for three claims. First, Finean ‘standard’ versions of these views are less congenial to the growing blocker than ‘non-standard’ ones. Second, the hybrid view is problematic on either version. And third, ‘non-standard’ versions are not fully intelligible. I provide further support for the first and third of these claims and explain why I take them to support a minimal account of passage as succession, which undercuts some of the motivation for Earman’s project (section 7). Lastly, I answer three objections (section 8).

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1113-1127
Number of pages15
JournalPhilosophia (United States)
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2017 Sept 1

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2017, Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht.

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Philosophy


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