McTaggart’s argument for the unreality of time, first published in 1908, set the agenda for 20th-century philosophy of time. Yet there is very little agreement on what it actually says—nobody agrees with the conclusion, but still everybody finds something important in it. This book presents the first critical overview of the last century of debate on what is popularly called "McTaggart’s Paradox". Scholars have long assumed that McTaggart’s argument stands alone and does not rely on any contentious ontological principles. The author demonstrates that these assumptions are incorrect—McTaggart himself explicitly claimed his argument to be dependent on the ontological principles that form the basis of his idealist metaphysics. The result is that scholars have proceeded to understand the argument on the basis of their own metaphysical assumptions, duly arriving at very different interpretations. This book offers an alternative reading of McTaggart’s argument, and at the same time explains why other commentators arrive at their mutually incompatible interpretations. It will be of interest to students and scholars with an interest in the philosophy of time and other areas of contemporary metaphysics.
Taylor and Francis; June 2016
- ISBN 9781317195825
- Read online, or download in secure PDF or secure EPUB format
- Title: McTaggart’s Paradox
- Author: R.D. Ingthorsson
In The Press
"The book...is truly an excellent piece of both philosophy and scholarship: argumentative and rigorous, informative and thought provoking. It is also superbly written, exhibiting exceptional clarity, concision, and flow. It is in all respects a first rate contribution. Anybody interested in McTaggart, the philosophy of time, or metaphysics will reap tremendous rewards from engaging with Ingthorsson's ideas; do give them a go."—Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews
"This book is, to date, clearly the most comprehensive and critical overview of the debate on McTaggart’s paradox."—Michelle Beer, Florida International University, USA
About The Author
R. D. Ingthorsson is a Lecturer at Lund University, Sweden. He has published in The European Journal of Philosophy, Dialectica, Metaphysica, and Axiomathes, and co-edited the celebrated Mental Causation and Ontology. His next project is "Scientific Essentialism: Modernising the Aristotelian View", funded by The Bank of Sweden Tercentenial Foundation.