Our Experience of Passage on the B-Theory

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Elsewhere I have suggested that the B-theory includes a notion of passage, by virtue of including succession. Here, I provide further support for that claim by showing that uncontroversial elements of the B-theory straightforwardly ground a veridical sense of passage. First, I argue that the B-theory predicts that subjects of experience have a sense of passivity with respect to time that they do not have with respect to space, which they are right to have, even according to the B-theory. I then ask what else might be involved in our experience of time as passing that is not yet vindicated by the B-theoretic conception. I examine a recent B-theoretic explanation of our 'illusory' sense of passage, by Robin Le Poidevin, and argue that it explains away too much: our perception of succession poses no more of a problem on the B-theory than it does on other theories of time. Finally, I respond to an objection by Oreste Fiocco that a causal account of our sense of passage cannot succeed, because it leaves out the 'phenomenological novelty' of each moment.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)713-726
Number of pages14
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2013 Aug

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Acknowledgments Thanks to Oliver Pooley for extensive discussion of these issues. Thanks also to Antony Eagle and Robin Le Poidevin for their comments. Part of this work was carried out while I was a member of the Swiss National Science Foundation project ‘‘Intentionality as the Mark of the Mental– Metaphysical Perspectives on Contemporary Philosophy of Mind’’ (Sinergia, CRSI11-127488).

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Philosophy
  • Logic


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