Does the Temporal Asymmetry of Value Support a Tensed Metaphysics?
Item Type:Journal Article
Citation:Fernandes, A., Does the Temporal Asymmetry of Value Support a Tensed Metaphysics?, Synthese, 2019
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There are temporal asymmetries in our attitudes towards the past and future. For example, we judge that a given amount of work is worth twice as much if it is described as taking place in the future, compared to the past (Caruso et al. in Psychol Sci 19(8):796–801, 2008). Does this temporal value asymmetry support a tensed metaphysics? By getting clear on the asymmetry’s features, I’ll argue that it doesn’t. To support a tensed metaphysics, the value asymmetry would need to (a) not vary with temporal distance, (b) apply equally to events concerning oneself and others, and (c) be rational and judged to be so. But evidence suggests the value asymmetry lacks these features. There are, moreover, independent arguments against its rationality. The asymmetry’s features suggest instead that it arises as an emotion-driven generalisation from a temporal bias concerning our future actions. This explanation points towards mechanisms that can play a role in explaining other instances where we generalise about the past and future, and why we’re tempted towards metaphysical pictures of time.
Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC)
Author: Fernandes, Alison
Type of material:Journal Article
Availability:Full text available
Keywords:Temporal value asymmetry, Time, Metaphysics, A-theory, Psychology, Normative, Rationality, Preference asymmetry, Attitude asymmetry, Time bias