Is the relativity of Simultaneity a Temporal Illusion?

In this recent paper in the philosophical journal Analysis, Berit Brogaard and I defend Tensism against a popular objection. Tensism holds that the present moment has a special status that sets it apart from the past and the future, independently of perceivers. One of the main objections to this view has been Einstein’s argument from special relativity, which aims at showing that absolute simultaneity is a myth. We argue that the moving observer in a causal variant of Einstein’s original thought experiment is subject to a temporal illusion. Owing to the analogy of the cases, this casts doubt on the conjectures that there is no privileged frame of reference and that special relativity poses a problem for tensism. You can read a draft of the paper here and obtain the final copy here.

Hear me on NPR

 Synesthesia is a complex condition in which the senses are mixed. In this episode of St. Louis on the Air, I speak with Don Marsh about how synesthesia research might provide insight as to how the brain works.


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