Arthur Prior and Special Theory of Relativity: Two Standpoints from the Nachlass

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This paper explores the evolution of Arthur Prior’s views on the special theory of relativity. It focuses on unpublished texts that can be found in his online Nachlass. I will compare and contrast the views expressed in this material with his mature views, which were most fully expressed about a decade later in his best-known book,Past, Present and Future(1967). The intervening decade was a productive one for Prior, and his views on relativity developed significantly. Prior’s views in the Nachlass material center on two, relatively straightforward, standpoints: (1) Time is not relative to an observer, and (2) The language of time in the special theory of relativity is artificial and does not describe what I shall call ontological time. However, by the time he published Past, Present and Future, these two standpoints seem to have been modified, or at least to have slipped into the background somewhat.
TitelThe Metaphysics of Time : Themes from Prior
RedaktørerPer Hasle, David Jakobsen, Peter Øhrstrøm
Antal sider20
ForlagAalborg Universitetsforlag
ISBN (Elektronisk)978-87-7210-724-0
StatusUdgivet - 2020
NavnLogic and Philosophy of Time


  • Arthur Prior
  • Special Theory of Relativity
  • Tense Logic

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