Some things that happen are determined in advance. For instance, it seems to be determined in advance that the sun will rise tomorrow at certain hour. It is not an open possibility that tomorrow the sun won't rise and night will just continué. That is not possible because it could happen only if the earth stopped rotating, or the sun stopped existing, and there is nothing going on in our galaxy which might make either of those things happen. The earth will continue rotating unless it is stopped, and tomorrow morning its rotation will bring us back around to face inward in the solar system, toward the sun, instead of outward, away from it.

[Thomas Nagel, What does it all mean?]

I don't understand the bold sentence. I can't imagine it. What does the word "around" mean? Could you help me please!?

3 Answers 3


When an object rotates - that is when it spins on its axis - it is said to turn around.

So if you take a small ball and make a mark on it, then turn it in your hand until the mark has vanished in one direction and reappeared in the other, you have turned the ball completely around.



What it's saying is that when it's nighttime at a certain location, that part of the earth is facing away from the sun. The next morning, the earth will have rotated so that the same location is facing towards the sun. In other words, that location will have turned around relative to the sun.

In addition, it was facing the same way at the same time the previous morning, so it's not just turning around, it's turning back around. As a result, we can say that the rotation of the Earth is bringing us back around to face the sun.


"...its rotation [the Earth's] will bring us back around [will return us to a place we have been before] to face [so that we are pointed towards] inward in the solar system [back toward the center of the solar system, the sun]."

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