Making sense of the growing block view – Natalja Deng (Cambridge)
In this paper, I try to make sense of the growing block view using Kit Fine’s four-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 1). Next, I review Fine’s reconstruction of McTaggart’s argument and its accompanying four-fold classification of A-theoretic views (section 2). I then consider three interpretations of Earman’s growing block model: the hybrid growing block (section 3), the purely tensed growing block (section 4), and Michael Tooley’s growing block (section 5). 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 6). Lastly, I answer three objections (section 7).
Full paper here.
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