Monday, September 04, 2006

Time Travel

I read yet another article discussing the grandfather paradox in the human interest part of the paper. What I don't understand is why people care. Could you go back in time and kill your own grandfather before your father was conceived? No. YOU could not, because you are here, contemplating the destruction of your own grandfather, even though, were he to be murdered, it would already have happened. What we know as the past is the past with any time travel that would have taken place already having happened. One cannot go back and change the past because one has already gone back and changed the past.

3 Comments:

Anonymous Allen O'Day said...

In other words: the principle of causality (cause before effect) cannot be violated.

10:45 PM  
Blogger Octavo Dia said...

That is correct.

8:12 AM  
Blogger Noumenon said...

Well, when you explain it like that, it tweaks me, because there's a longstanding philosophical debate about causation and whether the fact that one event is observed to follow another proves the one caused the other, or whether it's merely that human brains are primed for induction and naturally see post hoc propter hoc in everything.

Hume started this argument but I don't think he would have thought of it without Kant breaking the ground for categories of a priori synthetic ideas. I can explain this further if it's gibberish to you. Anyway, philosophy usually follows science if it advances at all, so I'll wait for the time machine to be built and then see what philosophy can prove about it.

4:32 AM  

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