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Volume 46 • Number 3

July 2009



What "Becomes" in Temporal Becoming?

by James Harrington

1. What Mode of Reality Belongs to time?

Aristotle begins his famous discussion of time in Book δ of The Physics by asking whether time belongs to "the things that exist" (τα οντα) (Aristotle, Wicksteed, and. Cornford, 1929). He concludes that it does not or does so only in a tenuous or obscure fashion. Oddly enough, he follows this with an extensive discussion of what time is. If time does not exist, then how can it be anything? The response to this puzzle is that Aristotle's theory is an anti-Platonic but not an antirealist theory of time.1 More generally, we should understand that time exists as a mode of those things, Aristotle's substances, which exist in a fuller sense. This Aristotelian way of thinking about time has vital importance for a contemporary philosophy of time mired in Platonic and ontological approaches to the problem of time.

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American Philosophical Quarterly is published by the University of Illinois Press on behalf of North American Philosophical Publications.

ISSN: 2152-1123