Becoming, Occurring and Minkowski spacetime

Mauro Dorato


The literature on the compatibility between the time of our experience - characterized by passage or becoming - and the time of physics as is represented by Minkowski's formulation of special relativity has been affected by a persistent failure to get a clear sense of the notion of becoming. What does it mean that the universe "becomes" or that the future is "unreal"? And conversely, what does a becomingless, "block-universe" really amount to? I claim that the numerous attempts at characterizing experiential and physical time in terms, respectively, of the so-called A and B theories of time have been the main source of confusion. After having provided a much needed explication of becoming in terms of the "occurrence of events", I defend it is as a faithful explication of the time of our experience. Once understood in a correct way, the block universe is simply a universe in which literally "nothing happens", and within a reasonably relativized notion of existence, becoming is thereby shown to be compatible with Minkowski spacetime