In the textbook, it said a wave in the form $y(x, t) = A\cos(\omega t + \beta x + \varphi)$ propagates along negative $x$ direction and $y(x, t) = A\cos(\omega t - \beta x + \varphi)$ propagates along positive $x$ direction. This statement looks really confusing because when it says the wave is propagating along $\pm$ x direction, to my understanding, we can drop the time term and ignore the initial phase $\varphi$ while analyzing the direction, i.e.$y(x, 0) = A\cos(\pm\beta x)$, however, because of the symmetry of the cosine function, $\cos(\beta x)\equiv \cos(-\beta x)$, so how can we determine the direction of propagation from that?
I know my reasoning must be incorrect but I don't know how to determine the direction. So if we don't go over the math, how to figure out the direction of propagation from the physical point of view? Why $-\beta x$ corresponding to the propagation on positive x direction but not the opposite? Thanks.