Space and Time
BRADLEY's arguments against the reality of space and time have received little attention (in comparison with, for instance, McTaggart's attack on the reality of time). In this chapter I want to argue that they are deserving of more serious philosophical consideration. This is so in at least two respects.
First, Bradley's arguments against space and time are connected with his attack on relations. They are, he says in chapter IV of Appearance and Reality, merely 'a peculiar form of the problem which we discussed in the last chapter' ( AR31)--that is, the problem of terms and relations. But he is not simply arguing (as he could have done): space and time involve relations, relations are unreal, therefore space and time are unreal. Rather the precise nature of his worries about space and time shed much light on his exact views about relations. They are a good illustration of, and may thus be used to interpret, his notoriously elusive attack on relations themselves.
Secondly, these arguments are interesting, not simply in connection with his views on relations, but also in themselves as arguments about the nature of space and time. They are not, as has sometimes been supposed, mere confusions about the correct mathematical or scientific treatment of space and time, but raise some serious points and puzzles in the philosophy of space and time to which modern mathematics or science have no easy answers.
In typically modest fashion Bradley eschews any originality with these arguments: 'The reader will be acquainted with the difficulties' ( "AR"30), he says. It is clear from what follows that Bradley has in mind two famous discussions of the nature of space and time: Kant's First and Second Antinomies in the Critique of Pure Reason, and the debate between substantivalism and relationism in the Leibniz-Clarke Correspondence.1 The First Antinomy contrasts____________________
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Publication information: Book title: An Introduction to Bradley's Metaphysics. Contributors: W. J. Mander - Author. Publisher: Clarendon Press. Place of publication: Oxford. Publication year: 1994. Page number: 112.
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