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The B-Theory of Time and the Notion of Change in the Yijing

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This paper engages in a comparative analytic study of the notions of time and change in the Yijing. It analyzes the Yijing’s philosophy of time as a version of the B-theory of time, which regards time as having multiple timelines, without any “privileged present.” In the Yijing’s hexagrams, events and situations are characterized by earlier than, simultaneous with, and later than relationships. Time in the Yijing does not have a unique “present”; rather, time is marked by relationships among events and situations. Furthermore, in the Yijing’s philosophy of time, change is essential to the existence of time; change is what makes time possible.

Affiliations: 1: Department of Philosophy, California State University


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