Summary : ' The Unreality Of Time '

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Jake Archey
Final Paper- Question 3
Phil 100
Due: December 15

McTaggart’s Paradox

The Scottish philosopher J.E. McTaggart published his work “The Unreality of Time” that presented a now famous argument in the world of philosophy. McTaggart concluded that time doesn’t exist and that nothing worth calling time exists. He came to this conclusion by uncovering two theories of time, which are referred to as the “a-series” and the “b-series.” The a-series is the “series of positions running from the far past through the near past to the present, and then from the present to the near future and the far future.” The b-series is the “series of positions which runs from earlier to later.” To break this down further, the a-series is a time series in which every moment is either past, present or future, while the b-series is each moment is either before or after a different moment. McTaggart recognizes that we use both series, but questions the validity, importance and effect they have on each other.
McTaggart made it clear that change is an important and essential criteria of time. In terms of the b-series which are eternal, it involves no change and therefore cannot be considered a valuable account of time. The a-series, however, is always changing, from the past to the present, from the present to the future, etc. Therefore, McTaggart originally believes and argues that the a-series is the proper description of time. However, he then finds a contradiction in the
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