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Publication Details

The Causal Theory of Time

(Original title: Kauzálne teórie času)
Filozofia, 27 (1972), 2, 164-177.
Type of work: Papers and Discussions
Publication language: Slovak
At the investigation of the basic qualities of time, the question of criteria of a temporal arrangement of material processes is one of its fundamental philosophical aspect. The problem can be formulated as follows: If we have two various processes A and B, 1. On the basis of what can their objective sequence be determined? 2. Are we able to determine unambiguously which of the processes precedes the other in time? One kind of theories that try to answer these question is represented by the causal theories of time elaborated in this century. The author presents an analysis and criticism of two basic conceptions: of Reinbach's “Theory of marks“ and Grünbaum’s “Symmetrical causal relation“. By analysing these theories he comes to the conclusion that they both contain petitio principii. That is to say that neither of them succeeded in defining the temporal notions on the basis of the causal relation that would not need for its definition again the temporal notions. In the last part of the paper the substance and importance of the causal theory of time is analysed. The relation of the category of time and causality is being analyzed with regard to their close connection as well as to the basic differences that do not allow a reduction of one category to the other. An attempt at such a reduction appears to be unjustified and it undermines the presupposition of the generality of time and causality. But on the other hand the causal theory helps to enlighten some temporal qualities of the physical world and is a fully valuable scientific theory. Therefore its elaboration from the point of view of Marxist philosophy is important.
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