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Abstract and Keywords

Might the explanation of some temporal asymmetries simply be that time itself is asymmetric? Some people believe that time flows, and others that it is intrinsically directed. But what do such claims mean, precisely? This chapter considers three ways of understanding flow—through a distinguished present, an objective temporal direction, and a flux-like character—and finds them all wanting. It considers, in particular, the idea that the world possesses a time orientation, critically scrutinizing the theories of John Earman and Tim Mauldin on temporal orientation and time's arrow.

Keywords: time asymmetry, time flow, temporal direction, John Earman, Tim Mauldin, time orientation

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