A logically possible world without time – and time’s smallest units

Let’s deny Newtonian Absolutism about time. Now let’s say that there are two balls related to each other in some set of ways, and that nothing other than those two balls exists. Let’s also say that these balls are at rest, they are in an entirely quiescent state. By the principle of the identity of indiscernibles there are no two times at which both balls exist, since any postulated ‘times’, in this imagined logically possible world would be indiscernibly identical, and therefore identical. Therefore, it is easy to imagine a logically possible world without time. Therefore time is contingent, and it is neither necessary de re, nor is it, as Kant thought, necessary de dicto that “time flows” or anything like that.

What Leibniz once famously did for matter, I want now to do with time. He conceded that a composite object must be composed of basic building blocks, but his mereological model, outlined in the monadology, still denied that there could possibly be physical atoms, since anything extended in space could be further divided. Similarly I want to say that time must be composed of basic units or delineating points, but that there cannot be any such things as Chronons (temporal atoms of some finite duration) since anything which is extended in time can be divided ad infinitum into smaller units of time. However, this division is strictly conceptual, if I’m right.

As I argued previously, that, pace the identity of indiscernibles, no two times fail to be identical unless the state of affairs which obtains at one is in some way discernibly different from the state of affairs which obtains at the other. Thus, for two times to be distinct just means that some proposition’s truth value has rolled over from true to false or false to true. Moreover, I also think that propositions don’t really exist, even though properties do (since properties inhere substances, and there may possibly be a set of all properties which a substance has in a world with a finite number of substances, but there is no set of all propositions, or even set of all true propositions). So propositions here are the useful fictions we use to represent to ourselves different times.

One might worry that this would make motion ‘jumpy’ rather than continuous, but I don’t think that follows, since just like monads can, by having a certain combination of relations to others, generate a phenomenally continuous space or space-time continuum, so also (inference by analogy) can motion be generated as phenomenally continuous. Just as line segments can be generated as phenomenally continuous by being composed of two points which merely act as the limits which delineate (literally) it’s parameters, so also can motion be ‘delineated’ in a more complex way so as to be generated as phenomenally continuous.


About tylerjourneaux

I am an aspiring Catholic theologian and philosopher, and I have a keen interest in apologetics. I am creating this blog both in order to practice and improve my writing and memory retention as I publish my thoughts, and in order to give evidence of my ability to understand and communicate thoughts on topics pertinent to Theology, Philosophy, philosophical theology, Catholic (Christian) Apologetics, philosophy of religion and textual criticism.
This entry was posted in Infinities, Metaphysics, Philosophy, Philosophy of Time and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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