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.