, Volume 47, Issue 4, pp 1011–1021 | Cite as

Time Travel and the Immutability of the Past within B-Theoretical Models

  • Giacomo AndreolettiEmail author
  • Giuliano Torrengo


The goal of this paper is to defend the general tenet that time travelers cannot change the past within B-theoretical models of time, independently of how many temporal dimensions there are. Baron Pacific Philosophical Quarterly, 98(1), 129–147 (2017) offered a strong argument intended to reach this general conclusion. However, his argument does not cover a peculiar case, i.e. a B-theoretical one-dimensional model of time that allows for the presence of internal times. Loss Pacific Philosophical Quarterly, 96, 1–11 (2015) used the latter model to argue that time travelers can change the past within such model. We show a way to debunk Loss’s argument, so that the general tenet about the impossibility of changing the past within B-theoretical models is maintained.


Time travel Time Hyper-time B-theory Changing the past 



For helpful comments on earlier drafts of this paper, we would like to thank Samuele Iaquinto, Roberto Loss, Nicola Piras, Jonathan Tallant, Achille C. Varzi, and members of the Centre for Philosophy of Time in Milan.


  1. Baron, S. (2017). Back to the unchanging past. Pacific Philosophical Quarterly, 98(1), 129–147.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Bernstein, S. (2017). Time travel and the movable present. In J. Keller (Ed.), Being, freedom, and method: Themes from the philosophy of Peter van Inwagen (pp. 80–94). Oxford: Oxford University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Casati, R., & Varzi, A. (2001). That useless time machine. Philosophy, 76(4), 581–583.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Goddu, G. C. (2003). Time travel and changing the past: (or how to kill yourself and live to tell the tale). Ratio, 16(1), 16–32.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Goddu, G. C. (2011). Avoiding or changing the past. Pacific Philosophical Quarterly, 92(1), 11–17.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Hudson, H., & Wasserman, R. (2010). Van Inwagen on time travel and changing the past. In D. Zimmerman (Ed.), Oxford studies in metaphysics (Vol. 5). Oxford: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  7. van Inwagen, P. (2010). Changing the past. In D. Zimmerman (Ed.), Oxford studies in metaphysics (Vol. 5, pp. 3–28). Oxford: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  8. Lewis, D. (1976). The paradoxes of time travel. American Philosophical Quarterly, 13(2), 145–152.Google Scholar
  9. Loss, R. (2015). How to change the past in one-dimensional time. Pacific Philosophical Quarterly, 96, 1–11.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Newton-Smith, W. H. (1980). The structure of time. London: Routledge.Google Scholar
  11. Wasserman, R. (2017). The paradoxes of time travel. Oxford: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Nature B.V. 2018
corrected publication 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University of TyumenTyumenRussian Federation
  2. 2.Centre for Philosophy of Time, Philosophy DepartmentUniversity of MilanMilanItaly

Personalised recommendations