Publication Date

April 2019


Sanford Shieh




English (United States)


In this thesis, I argue that contemporary A-theoretic accounts of time fail to meaningfully describe the nature or structure of time because of the particular strategies philosophers have adopted in constructing these accounts. In doing so, I analyze how “metaphorical presentations” fail as a tool for explanation as they cannot adequately capture the relations between the concepts being explained. I also argue that invoking metaphor is necessary for an adequate account of time, and so the accounts cannot provide any insight into the nature of time even if they try to get rid of the explicit use of metaphor. I preface my argument by examining the roots of the debate and the impact of John McTaggart’s argument that the A-theory is incoherent, especially when supplemented with Michael Dummett’s analysis. I then compare the pre-Relativistic challenges for any account of time with the problems Special Relativity entails.



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