22 April: Hanoch Ben-Yami (CEU, Budapest) – “Resolving Apparent and Theoretical Puzzles in Reflections on Time”
Sala Enzo Paci, Via Festa del Perdono 7, h. 15.00-17.00.
Abstract: In our reflections about time and becoming (=things happen), we have often stumbled across puzzles that seem to contradict our common views. For instance, from antiquity to the present, philosophers, reflecting on our ordinary temporal concepts, have concluded that becoming is an illusion, or only consciousness passes over eternal beings in some sense, and so on (I assume some familiarity with this debate). In addition, reflecting on established physical theories, philosophers concluded that in them becoming is a contradictory notion and therefore illusory. I shall claim that the former debates are meaningless, in the sense that they indeed involve different pictures, which might carry strong psychological conviction, but that do not entail any difference in application. The latter debates, by contrast, should be resolved by showing that they arise from misinterpretation of theories or from their over-generalisation. I shall provide an example from an argument derived from Rietdijk and Putnam against becoming in Special Relativity.