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Univ. Paris-Saclay
What makes time special?
Craig Callender
University of California at Irvine
Mardi 16/02/2010, 14:30
SPEC Bât 774, p.50, Orme des Merisiers

What is the difference between time and space? This paper proposes a novel answer: the temporal direction is that direction on the manifold of events in which our best theories can tell the strongest, most informative „stories.‰ Put another way, time is that direction in which our theories can obtain as much determinism as possible. I make two arguments. The first is a general one based on an empiricist theory of laws. I argue that according to this theory time is distinguished as the direction of informative strength. The second argument is a more specific illustration of the first: understanding informative strength as having a well-posed Cauchy problem, I show that for a wide class of equations (i.e., second-order linear partial differential equations) the desire for strength does indeed distinguish the temporal direction. Not only that, but the argument rigorously connects three otherwise mysterious connections among temporal features to one another.

Contact : agrinbau


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