The aim of Jonathan Tallant's recent article ‘What is B-time?’ (2007) is to demonstrate that B-time – which holds that time consists solely of tenseless temporal relations – is something of which we have no understanding, and that, therefore, if mind-independent time is B-time, then time is unreal. Of course, implicit in his own position is that since time is plausibly real and we do understand what time is, the correct ontology of time is A-time or tensed time. How then does Tallant purport to substantiate the crucial claim that ‘we have no understanding of what “B-time” is’ (2007: 147)?

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The overall structure of his argument may be stated as follows:1

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Argument A

  1. (1)

    Our only awareness of the reality of time comes via our phenomenology of temporal passage.

  2. (2)

    Our temporal phenomenology is mind-dependent and reflects no feature of reality.

  3. (3)

    Our epistemic...

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