McTaggart on time

Nathaniel Goldberg



Contemporary discussions on the nature of time begin with McTaggart, who introduces the distinction between what he takes to be the only two possible realist theories of time: the A-theory, maintaining that past, present, and future are absolute; and the B-theory, maintaining that they are relative. McTaggart argues against both theories to conclude that time is not real. In this paper, I reconstruct his argument against the A-theory. Then, I show that this argument is flawed. Finally, I draw a lesson for those engaged in contemporary discussions on the nature of time.


McTaggart; time

Full Text:



McTaggart, John Ellis, “Time”, pp. 8–31 in: The Nature of Existence, vol. 2, C.D. Broad (ed.), New York: Cambridge University Press, 1927.

ISSN: 1425-3305 (print version)

ISSN: 2300-9802 (electronic version)

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