The Dynamic Theory of Time and Time Travel to the Past

Ned Markosian 1
  • 1 University of Massachusetts, , Amherst


I argue that time travel to the past is impossible, given a certain metaphysical theory, namely, The Dynamic Theory of Time. I first spell out my particular way of capturing the difference between The Dynamic Theory of Time and its rival, The Static Theory of Time. Next I offer four different arguments for the conclusion that The Dynamic Theory is inconsistent with the possibility of time travel to the past. Then I argue that, even if I am wrong about this, it will still be true that The Dynamic Theory entails that you should not want to travel back to the past. Finally, I conclude by considering a puzzle that arises for those who believe that time travel to the past is metaphysically impossible: What exactly are we thinking about when we seem to be thinking about traveling back in time? For it certainly does not feel like we are thinking about something that is metaphysically impossible.

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