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Title: Events and the agential perspective
Author: Bacharach, Julian
ISNI:       0000 0004 9346 7223
Awarding Body: UCL (University College London)
Current Institution: University College London (University of London)
Date of Award: 2020
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There are systematic and pervasive differences between the ways we think about events in our personal past and future. Roughly speaking, we treat past events as fixed and settled, and future events as open and undetermined. This fact raises questions, first, about the finer structure of this pattern of asymmetry; and, secondly, about its metaphysical status. This thesis aims to address these families of question together, thereby bringing questions in the metaphysics of time into contact with ones in the philosophy of action and decision. The principal aim of the thesis is to articulate a distinctively retrospective perspective that we have on our past actions; and to argue that much of mature practical thinking, in particular the asymmetries of past and future thinking, is structured by this retrospective perspective. This perspective is explained in terms of the special epistemic access we have to particular past events, paradigmatically in episodic memory. This is effectively a novel argument for the familiar idea that actions are events—one based on the structure of practical thought, rather than the logical form of action sentences. An ontology of events motivated in this way has consequences for question in the metaphysics of time. Specifically, I argue that it supports a conception of time as a system of particulars, rather than one on which the tenses are fundamental.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available