Skip to main content

Mc Taggart and the Truth about Time


McTaggart famously argued that time is unreal. Today, almost no one agrees with his conclusion.1 But his argument remains the locus classicus for both the A–theory and the B-theory of time. I want to show how McTaggart's argument provided the impetus for both of these opposing views of the nature of time. I will also present and defend what I take to be the correct view of the nature of time.

Hide All
Bigelow J. 1996. ‘Presentism and Properties’, in Tomberlin James E. (ed.) Philosophical Perspectives 10, Metaphysics, (Oxford: Blackwell Publishers Ltd, 1996) 3552.
Craig W. L. 1996. ‘Tense and the New B–theory of Language’, Philosophy 71, 526.
Craig W. L. 1998. ‘McTaggart's Paradox and the Problem of Temporary Intrinsics’, Analysis 58, 122–27.
Davidson D. ‘A Coherence Theory of Truth and Knowledge’, in LePore Ernest (ed.) Truth and Interpretation: Perspectives on the Philosophy of Donald Davidson (Oxford: Basil Blackwell, 1986) 307–19.
Dummett M. 1960. ‘A Defense of McTaggart's Proof of the Unreality of Time’, Philosophical Review 69, 497504.
Dyke H. (forthcoming, 2002) ‘Tokens, Dates and Tenseless Truth Conditions’, Synthèse.
Hinchliff M. 1996. ‘The Puzzle of Change’ in Tomberlin James E. (ed.) Philosophical Perspectives 10, Metaphysics, (Oxford: Blackwell Publishers Ltd, 1996) 119–36.
McTaggart J. M. E.The Nature of Existence, Vol II, (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1927)
Mellor D. H.Real Time II, (London: Routledge, 1998)
Prior A. N. 1970. ‘The Notion of the Present’, Studium Generate 23, 245–48.
Smith Q.Language and Time, (New York: Oxford University Press, 1993)
Sprigge T. L. S. 1992. ‘The Unreality of Time’, Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society 92, 119.
Recommend this journal

Email your librarian or administrator to recommend adding this journal to your organisation's collection.

Royal Institute of Philosophy Supplements
  • ISSN: 1358-2461
  • EISSN: 1755-3555
  • URL: /core/journals/royal-institute-of-philosophy-supplements
Please enter your name
Please enter a valid email address
Who would you like to send this to? *


Full text views

Total number of HTML views: 0
Total number of PDF views: 189 *
Loading metrics...

Abstract views

Total abstract views: 575 *
Loading metrics...

* Views captured on Cambridge Core between September 2016 - 18th January 2018. This data will be updated every 24 hours.