David Lewis: VZ 224-234
David Lewis: VZ 224-234 PHI4500
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This 3 page Class Notes was uploaded by Bethaney Hall on Tuesday September 29, 2015. The Class Notes belongs to PHI4500 at Florida State University taught by Randolph Clarke in Fall 2015. Since its upload, it has received 48 views. For similar materials see Metaphysics in PHIL-Philosophy at Florida State University.
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Date Created: 09/29/15
David Lewis The Paradoxes of Time Travel The very rst line in this chapter Lewis informs us that he believes time travel to be possible despite there being many quotodditiesquot and paradoxes He explains that many people deny time travel because of the many paradoxes but he argues that just because there are paradoxes does not make it invalid Contradictions 1 How can it be that the same two events departure and arrival are separate by two unequal amounts of time Ex a time traveler departs his present and arrives 40 years ago but it only times him an hour to get there a Response must distinguish between personal time and external time i is not actual time but is the time that the traveler experiencesperceives himself this would be the one hour that the traveler experienced while going into the past or future 1 The book de nes it as quotthat which occupies a certain role in the pattern of events that compromise the time traveler39s lifequot ii is real time that the world abides by in reality 40 years would have past in his travels 2 What if the time traveler meets his past self and informs that self on how to create a time machine thus creating a causal loop a He argues that there could be causal loops to where each stage is caused from a previous one but that doesn39t mean the entire loop is causal i He states quotEach event on the loop has a causal explanation being caused by events elsewhere on the loop That is not to say that the loop as a whole is caused or explicablequot ii He further explains that in this particular instance the younger self knows about time traveler because of the older self He then asks well where did the information come from in the rst place He argues that there is no answer 3 What if the time traveler goes into the past and kills his own grandfather thus changing his future entirely a Lewis focuses on the term quotcouldquot meaning that something has the capacity to do something b He believes this argument to be slightly ambiguous because holding xed the future the time traveler can39t kill his grandfather because his grandfather dies at a later time However holding xed only the past the traveler could kill his grandfather since the future has not happened yet 4 What about personal identity a Lewis explains that the time traveler has two different complete stages located at the same time at different places i These two different people are united mostly by their mental continuity ii However the time traveler is connected and continuous only with respect to his personal time Class notes If you weren t in class the outline the professor followed and wrote on the board was as follows What s Puzzling about Time Travel External and Personal Time I Personal Identity IV The Grandfather Paradox AII descriptions for each topic can be seen in the above notes