This preview shows pages 1–2. Sign up to view the full content.
This preview has intentionally blurred sections. Sign up to view the full version.
View Full Document 32
J.
M. E. MCTAGGART
We must begin with the
A
series, rather than with past, present, and future,
as separate terms. And we must say that a series is an
A
series when each of
its terms has, to an entity
X
outside the series, one, and only one, of three
indefinable relations, pastness, presentness, and futurity, which are such that
all the terms which have the relation of presentness to
X
fall between all the
terms which have the relation of pastness to
X,
on the one hand, and all the
terms which have the relation of futurity to
X.
on the other hand.
..,
We have come to the conclusion that an A series depends on relations to a
term outside the
A
series. This term, then, could not itself be in time, and yet
must be such that different relations to it determine the other terms of those
relations, as being past, present, or future. To find such a term would not be
easy, and yet such a term must be found, if the
A
series is to be real. But
there is a more positive difficulty in the way of the reality of the A series.
Past, present, and future are incompatible determinations. Every event
must be one or the other, but no event can be more than one. If I say that any
event is past, that implies that it is neither present nor future, and so with the
others. And this exclusiveness is essential to change, and therefore to time.
For the only change we can get is from future to present, and from present
to past.
This is the end of the preview. Sign up
to
access the rest of the document.
This note was uploaded on 02/14/2011 for the course PHIL 124c taught by Professor Humphrey during the Spring '11 term at UCSB.
 Spring '11
 Humphrey

Click to edit the document details