Do time travel, parallel timelines, time loop questions fit this site, or is there another SE site which is better suited for those kinds of questions?

Here is my question:

In a recent movie Looper, (spoiler alert) the plot evolves around a time loop that is broken by the main character Joe in the end of the movie.

The main Joe encounters his older self one day, and hears a story of his old timeline (which is now inaccessible due to his older self talking to his younger self right now). In the end, Joe is at the fork, he can either do nothing, and he will live a few more decades, return back in time, and repeat the events of the movie up until the fork, or he can shoot himself to death (which he does), and according to the movie, his older self disappears that instant and never comes back in time again.

But doesn't shooting himself to death make Joe not appear before himself, thus not making him shoot himself? In that case Joe is stuck in another infinite loop — not chasing himself, but shooting himself at the end of the film. Which logic is correct?

Because this question involves a fictional real world mechanic, I don't think it fits Physics.SE more than it fits Philosophy.SE, but then this question can have an answer that might satisfy me. Please help me understand if I should post this question here.

  • What aspect of philosophy or learning philosophy are you trying to get at through questions on time travel? Is this something that would be better suited for Physics? – davidlowryduda Dec 17 '12 at 6:20
  • @mixedmath I added my question to the question :x – user1306322 Dec 17 '12 at 11:18
  • 1
    Since it involves a science-fictional element it might be more appropriate for the Scifi stack – Joseph Weissman Dec 17 '12 at 13:14


  • Per my understanding of the FAQ, it fits scifi.SE if and only if the question is about the nature ofthe movie/plot. If the question is about the nature of time travel itself, independent of any particular movie (i.e., the fact that you saw it in Looper was just happenstance) then it is not appropriate for scifi.SE.


  • If the question is about time travel as it relates to known physical concepts (Einstein-Rosen bridges, general relativity, spacetime, etc.), then it is appropriate for physics.SE.


  • If you ask nothing of existing physics concepts (or simply are more focused on argument coherency) and simply want an explanation as to whether a particular instantiation of time travel is logically coherent, then it fits here on philosphy.SE.

I found a similar question already on Scifi.SE, so I guess those kinds of questions with science-fiction elements belong there.

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