Time and Identity


The concepts of time and identity seem at once unproblematic and frustratingly difficult. Time is an intricate part of our experience—it would seem that the passage of time is a prerequisite for having any experience at all—and yet recalcitrant questions about time remain. Is time real? Does time flow? Do past and future moments exist? Philosophers face similarly stubborn questions about identity, particularly about the persistence of identical entities through change. Indeed, questions about the metaphysics of persistence take on many of the complexities inherent in philosophical considerations of time. This volume of original essays brings together these two essentially related concepts in a way not reflected in the available literature, making it required reading for philosophers working in metaphysics and students interested in these topics.

The contributors, distinguished authors and rising scholars, first consider the nature of time and then turn to the relation of identity, focusing on the metaphysical connections between the two, with a special emphasis on personal identity. The volume concludes with essays on the metaphysics of death, issues in which time and identity play a significant role. This groundbreaking collection offers both cutting-edge epistemological analysis and historical perspectives on contemporary topics.

Harriet Baber, Lynne Rudder Baker, Ben Bradley, John W. Carroll, Reinaldo Elugardo, Geoffrey Gorham, Mark Hinchliff, Jenann Ismael, Barbara Levenbook, Andrew Light, Lawrence B. Lombard, Ned Markosian, Harold Noonan, John Perry, Harry S. Silverstein, Matthew H. Slater, Robert J. Stainton, Neil A. Tognazzini

Topics in Contemporary Philosophy

Table of Contents

  1. Acknowledgments
  2. Introduction: Framing the Problems of Time and Identity

    Matthew H. Slater

  3. I. Time
  4. 1. Temporal Reality

    Lynne Rudder Baker

  5. 2. Time for a Change: A Polemic against the PresentismEternalism Debate

    Lawrence B. Lombard

  6. 3. Context, Conditionals, Fatalism, Time Travel, and Freedom

    John W. Carroll

  7. 4. The Identity of the Past

    Mark Hinchliff

  8. II. Identity
  9. 5. Identity through Change and Substitutivity Salva Veritate

    Reinaldo Elugardo and Robert J. Stainton

  10. 6. Identifying the Problem of Personal Identity

    Ned Markosian

  11. 7. Persistence and Responsibility

    Neal A. Tognazzini

  12. 8. Descartes on Persistence and Temporal Parts

    Geoffrey Gorham

  13. III. The Self
  14. 9. Persons, Animals, and Human Beings

    Harold Noonan

  15. 10. Me, Again

    Jenann Ismael

  16. 11. Selves and Self-Concepts

    John Perry

  17. 12. Ex Ante Desire and Post Hoc Satisfaction

    H. E. Baber

  18. IV. Death
  19. 13. Eternalism and Death's Badness

    Ben Bradley

  20. 14. The Time of the Evil of Death

    Harry S. Silverstein

  21. 15. The Retroactivity Problem

    Barbara Baum Levenbook

  22. V. Postlude
  23. 16. Love Conquers All, Even Time?

    Andrew Light

  24. Contributors
  25. Index