Birmingham Workshop on Probability and Time Travel

Wed 27th & Thu 28th May 2015
Room G51, ERI Building, University of Birmingham, Birmingham B152TT

Sara Bernstein (Duke)
John Cusbert (Oxford)
Nikk Effingham (Birmingham)
Graeme A Forbes (Kent)
Daniel Nolan (ANU)
Stephanie Rennick (Glasgow)
Alastair Wilson (Birmingham)

Wednesday 27 May
10.00 – 10.30 – Coffee
10.30 – 12.00 – Nikk Effingham (Birmingham): “Heterodox Ludovicianism”
12.00 – 13.30 – Lunch
13.30 – 15.00 – John Cusbert (Oxford): “Causal loops and unstable chances”
15.00 – 15.30 – Break
15.30 – 17.00 – Daniel Nolan (ANU): “Time Travel, Self-Prediction and Rational Action, or, How To Win Money From Philosophers”
17.00 – 18.00 – Drinks in Staff House
18.30 – 22.00 – Dinner at Kababish, Moseley

Thursday 28 May
09.00 – 10.30 – Alastair Wilson (Birmingham): “The Time-Travelling Interventionist”
10.30 – 11.00 – Break
11.00 – 12.30 – Stephanie Rennick (Glasgow): “Bilking the Future”
12.30 – 13.30 – Lunch
13.30 – 15.00 – Sara Bernstein (Duke): “Time Travel and the Movable Present”
15.00 – 15.30 – Break
15.30 – 17.00 – Graeme A Forbes (Kent): “Quantum Leap with a MOP”

All are welcome, but for catering purposes please confirm attendance to by 14 May.

This workshop is supported by the New Agendas in the Study of Time project at the University of Sydney – – and is organized in association with MIMOSA – .


John Cusbert: “Causal loops and unstable chances”
Abstract: Intuitively, objective chances are stable: if you repeat an experimental trial, then the chances of its various possible outcomes should stay the same. However, some time travel cases threaten instability, since duplicate setups can apparently yield different chances, if one of them is embedded in a causal loop. I’ll consider the nature and extent of this instability, and suggest a stability thesis that handles such cases.

Nikk Effingham: “Heterodox Ludovicianism”
Abstract: This paper criticises Lewis’s contextualist solution to the Grandfather Paradox on the grounds that Lewis does not take seriously the modality of impossibility. I then develop a variant contextualist response to the Paradox that looks more profitable.

Graeme A Forbes: “Quantum Leap with a MOP”
Abstract: I shall be developing Bernstein’s discussion of a Moveable Objective Present (MOP), and examining the role of chancy causation in two cases: 1) causing the objective present to move, and 2) the development of time after a discontinuous movement of the objective present.

Birmingham Workshop on Probability and Time Travel

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