The times they are a-changin'

Location
ERI 149
Category
Arts and Law, Lectures Talks and Workshops, Research
Dates
Wednesday 23rd May 2018 (13:00-14:00)
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Philosophy Work in Progress Seminar Series 2017/18

The Philosophy department's work in progress seminar is an opportunity for the members of staff at Birmingham to present the material they are working on to each other and to the department's postgraduate students.
The seminar meets roughly on fortnightly Wednesdays from 13:00 to 14.00 in the ERI. All welcome!

Abstract

We standardly believe that facts about the future and past are unchanging: if the Battle of Hastings took place in 1066 then it’s ALWAYS going to have taken place in 1066 thereafter; if I die in a car crash in 2020 then it’s ALWAYS going to have been the case (and will be the case forever) that I did in 2020. This paper discusses ‘vicissitude’ worlds where the facts about the future or past can change over time (and do so without invoking hypertimes, or alternative universes). I argue that we can make sense of such worlds, and have some reason to think that they’re possible (given considerations not just of time travel but of counterfactual statements about the future). I sketch how they might be compatible with both tensed and tenseless time and discuss even weirder cases where the changes we make to history take time to propagate out and ripple to the future.