Towards a C theory of time : an appraisal of the physics and metaphysics of time direction
This thesis introduces and defends a 'C theory' of time. The metaphysics of time literature
is primarily concerned with the distinction between the A and B theories of time, with
the disagreement concerning whether the passage of time is an objective feature of reality.
I argue that the distinction between the Band C theories-in terms of whether time has
a 'privileged' direction-is of more obvious relevance to the philosophy of physics than
is the distinction between the A and B theories. The thesis has three main contentions.
(1) In order to maintain a substantial metaphysical dispute between the different theories
of time, they must be defined in terms of structural properties, and the naturalistic
metaphysics of time direction involves the assessment of these structures in light of contemporary
physics. (2) The A theory of time requires a model with two temporal dimensions,
and although such a model proVides a resolution to a number of problems faced
by standard A theories, it is not motivated by physical theory. (3) The dispute between
the Band C theories of time is of direct relevance to the philosophy of physics: the B
theorist's assumption of the existence of a privileged temporal direction is of explanatory
relevance to physics; and a comparison between unidirectional and adirectional explanations
in physics can in principle shed light on whether time is B- or C-theoretic.