Presentism

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  1. Presentism and the Experience of Time.Mauro Dorato - 2015 - Topoi 34 (1):265-275.
    Presentists have typically argued that the Block View is incapable of explaining our experience of time. In this paper I argue that the phenomenology of our experience of time is, on the contrary, against presentism. My argument is based on a dilemma: presentists must either assume that the metaphysical present has no temporal extension, or that it is temporally extended. The former horn leads to phenomenological problems. The latter renders presentism metaphysically incoherent, unless one posits a discrete present that, however, (...)
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  2. In Defense of Temporal Passage.Steven M. Duncan - manuscript
    In this paper, I endorse and defend the Common Sense View of Time (CSVT), i.e. Presentism plus the A-theory of time, by arguing for the objective reality of temporal passage.
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  3. The Present.Steven M. Duncan - manuscript
    While the nature of the past and the future have received a lot of attention from recent analytic philosophers, the present has been somewhat neglected. I think the notion of the present is somewhat misunderstood and hope to rectify some of those misunderstandings in this essay. It is high time that this was done. Let's do it now!
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  4. Momentum and Context.Hans Halvorson -
    A sentence's meaning may depend on the state of motion of the speaker. I argue that this context-sensitivity blocks the inference from special relativity to four-dimensionalism.
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  5. The Time Flow Manifesto Chapter 4 Metaphysical Time Flow.Andrew Holster - manuscript
    In the philosophy of time, the neo-positivist is focussed above all else on sustaining the view called the static theory of time, as the very foundation of their scientific metaphysics. This is the deeply held metaphysical conviction of almost all ‘modern philosophical-scientific’ writers on time. In fact it is hardly too much to say that the entire official modern 20th Century philosophy of physics rests on the assumption that the static theory of space-time is the only concept of time we (...)
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  6. Paradoxes of Time Travel to the Future.Sara Bernstein - forthcoming - In Helen Beebee & Anthony Fisher (eds.), Perspectives on the Philosophy of David K. Lewis. Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press.
    This paper brings two fresh perspectives on Lewis’s theory of time travel. First: many key aspects and theoretical desiderata of Lewis’s theory can be captured in a framework that does not commit to eternalism about time. Second: implementing aspects of Lewisian time travel in a non-eternalist framework provides theoretical resources for a better treatment of time travel to the future. While time travel to the past has been extensively analyzed, time travel to the future has been comparatively underexplored. I make (...)
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  7. Fine's Monster Objection Defanged.Damiano Costa, Alessandro Cecconi & Claudio Calosi - forthcoming - Philosophical Quarterly.
    The Monster objection has been often considered one of the main reasons to explore non- standard mereological views, such as hylomorphism. Still, it has been rarely discussed and then only in a cursory fashion. This paper fills this gap by offering the first thorough assessment of the objection. It argues that different metaphysical stances, such as presentism, three- and four-dimensionalism, provide different ways of undermining the objection.
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  8. Time, Metaphysics Of.Natalja Deng - forthcoming - Routledge Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
    Metaphysics is the part of philosophy that asks questions about the nature of reality – about what there is, and what it is like. The metaphysics of time is the part of the philosophy of time that asks questions about the nature of temporal reality. One central such question is that of whether time passes or flows, or whether it has a dynamic aspect.
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  9. The Affective and Practical Consequences of Presentism and Eternalism.Mauro Dorato - forthcoming - Argumenta.
    In the dispute between presentism and eternalism, the affective dimensions of the debate have been somewhat neglected. Contemporary philosophers of time have not tried to relate these ontological positions with two of the most discussed maxims in the history of ethics – “live in the present” vs. “look at your life under the aspect of the eternity” (sub specie aeternitatis)– that since the Hellenistic times have been regarded as strictly connected with them. Consequently, I raise the question of whether the (...)
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  10. Five New Arguments for The Dynamic Theory of Time.Ned Markosian - forthcoming - Philosophical Perspectives:1-43.
    According to The Static Theory of Time, time is like space in various ways, and there is no such thing as the passage of time. According to The Dynamic Theory of Time, on the other hand, time is very different from space, and the passage of time is an all-too-real phenomenon. This paper first offers some suggestions about how we should understand these two theories, and then introduces five new arguments for The Dynamic Theory of Time.
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  11. Meaning in Life and the Nature of Time.Ned Markosian - forthcoming - In The Oxford Handbook of Meaning in Life. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
    Many of the leading accounts of what makes a life meaningful are goal-based theories, according to which it is the pursuit of some specific goal (such as love for things that are worthy of love) that gives meaning to our lives. In this chapter I consider how these goal-based theories of meaning in life interact with the two main theories of the nature of time that have been defended in the recent metaphysics literature, namely, The Dynamic Theory of Time and (...)
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  12. Pretence Fictionalism About the Non-Present.Kristie Miller - forthcoming - Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy.
    Presentists hold that only present things exist. But we all, presentists included, utter sentences that appear to involve quantification over non-present objects, and so we all, presentists included, seem to commit ourselves to such objects. Equally, we all, presentists included, take utterances of many past-tensed (and some future-tensed) sentences to be true. But if no past or future things exist, it’s hard to see how there can be anything that those utterances are about, which makes them true. This paper presents (...)
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  13. Presentism Without Truth-Makers.Barry Ward - forthcoming - Chronos.
    We construct a presentist semantics on which there are no truth-makers for past and future tensed statements. The semantics is not an expressivist or projectivist one, and is not susceptible to the semantical difficulties that confront such theories. We discuss how the approach handles some standard concerns with presentism.
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  14. Trouble on the Horizon for Presentism.Sam Baron & Baptiste Le Bihan - 2022 - Philosophers' Imprint 1.
    Surface presentism is the combination of a general relativistic physics with a presentist metaphysics. In this paper, we provide an argument against this combination based on black holes. The problem focuses on the notion of an event horizon. We argue that the present locations of event horizons are ontologically dependent on future black hole regions, and that this dependence is incompatible with presentism. We consider five responses to the problem available to the surface presentist, and argue that none succeed. Surface (...)
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  15. Presentism and times as propositions.Luca Banfi & Daniel Deasy - 2021 - Philosophical Studies 179 (3):725-743.
    Some Presentists—according to whom everything is present—identify instants of time with propositions of a certain kind. However, the view that times are propositions seems to be at odds with Presentism: if there are times then there are past times, and therefore things that are past; but how could there be things that are past if everything is present? In this paper, we describe the Presentist view that times are propositions ; we set out the argument that Presentism is incompatible with (...)
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  16. Ontological Pluralism About Non-Being.Sarah Bernstein - 2021 - In Sara Bernstein & Tyron Goldschmidt (eds.), Non-being: New Essays on the Metaphysics of Nonexistence. Oxford University Press. pp. 1-16.
    I develop ontological pluralism about non-being, the view that there are multiple ways, kinds, or modes of non-being. I suggest that the view is both more plausible and defensible than it first seems, and that it has many useful applications across a wide variety of metaphysical and explanatory problems. After drawing out the relationship between pluralism about being and pluralism about non-being, I discuss quantificational strategies for the pluralist about non-being. I examine historical precedent for the view. Finally, I suggest (...)
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  17. An Inconsistency between Being and Time in Presentism.Sakineh Karimi & Mahdi Monfared - 2021 - Ontological Researches 10 (19):131-160.
    Presentists argue that only present entities exist absolutely and unrestrictedly. Presentism, which itself is a temporal analog of the modal doctrine of actualism, is an ontological idea about time and existence against theories such as eternalism, possibilism, and growing block theory. Thus, presentists deny the existence of atemporal or timeless entities and describe presentism as a version of the (A-theory), which makes a difference between present, past, and future. Also, presentists are not able to ontologically, justify the existence of some (...)
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  18. On the Possibility of Presentism with Occurrents.Marco Marabello - 2021 - Philosophia 49 (5):2173-2188.
    This paper defends the possibility of admitting occurrents in a presentist ontology. Two ways of doing so are proposed, the first one involves Meinongian presentism. By using the notion of non-existent object and coherently modifying some mereological principle, it is argued, the presentist can allow for occurrents. The second proposal involves ex-concrete objects. Ex-concrete objects, i.e. objects that are contingently not concrete, have been used by Linsky and Zalta, 431-458, 1994), Williamson in the modal metaphysics debate, by Orilia, 589-607, 2016) (...)
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  19. The Rotten Core of Presentism.Jonathan Tallant & David Ingram - 2021 - Synthese 199 (1-2):3969-3991.
    Recently, some have attempted to reformulate debates in first-order metaphysics, particularly in the metaphysics of time and modality, for reasons due to Williamson. In this paper, we focus on the ways in which the likes of Cameron, Correia and Rosenkranz, Deasy, Ingram, Tallant, Viebahn, inter alia, have initiated and responded to attempts to capture the core of presentism using a formal, logical machinery. We argue that such attempts are doomed to fail because there is no theoretical core to presentism. There (...)
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  20. The Open Future: Why Future Contingents Are All False.Patrick Todd - 2021 - Oxford: Oxford University Press.
    This book launches a sustained defense of a radical interpretation of the doctrine of the open future. Patrick Todd argues that all claims about undetermined aspects of the future are simply false.
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  21. Purely Theoretical Explanations.Giacomo Andreoletti, Jonathan Tallant & Giuliano Torrengo - 2020 - Philosophia 49 (1):133-154.
    This paper introduces a new kind of explanation that we describe as ‘purely theoretical’. We first present an example, E, of what we take to be a case of purely theoretical explanation. We then show that the explanation we have in mind does not fit neatly into any of the existing categories of explanation. We take this to give us prima facie motivation for thinking that purely theoretical explanation is a distinctive kind of explanation. We then argue that it can (...)
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  22. Can God Promise Us a New Past? A Response to Lebens and Goldschmidt.Bogdan Faul - 2020 - Open Theology 6 (1):167-174.
    Samuel Lebens and Tyron Goldschmidt provided original theodicies, which suggest that at one time God will change the past, either by erasing/substituting the sins of humans or erasing the whole entirety of evils. Both theodicies imply the idea that God can completely change the past without leaving any traces. In this paper, I argue that Lebens’ and Goldschmidt’s preferred model, which they call the scene-changing theory, is problematic. First, its complex metaphysical foundation could be replaced with presentism (roughly, the view (...)
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  23. To Be is to Persist.Dustin Gray - 2020 - Philosophy Now 141 (141):8-11.
    What does it mean for an object to persist through time? Consider the statement, ‘My car is filthy, I need to wash it.’ Consider the response, ‘How did it get that way?’ The answer is that dirt, dust and other particles have collected on the car’s surface thus making it filthy. Its properties have changed. At one point in the car’s career, none of that dirt and grime existed on its surface and the car was said to be clean. The (...)
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  24. A Defence of Lucretian Presentism.Jonathan Tallant & David Ingram - 2020 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 98 (4):675-690.
    In this paper, we defend Lucretian Presentism. Although the view faces many objections and has proven unpopular with presentists, we rehabilitate Lucretianism and argue that none of the objections stick.
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  25. Gallifrey Falls No More: Doctor Who’s Ontology of Time.Kevin S. Decker - 2019 - Journal of Science Fiction and Philosophy 2:1-21.
    Despite being time-travel adventure series, both classic Doctor Who (1963-1989, 1996) and its reboot (2005-present) have not seen the development of a coherent ontology of time for their fictional universe. As such, it is extremely difficult to review established theories of the nature of time in an attempt to shoe-horn Doctor Who into an existing framework. Difficulties include the evolution of the views of the central character, the alien “Doctor,” from a position that insists “time can’t be rewritten” to its (...)
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  26. Fragmentalist Presentist Perdurantism.Samuele Iaquinto - 2019 - Philosophia 47 (3):693-703.
    Perdurantists think of continuants as mereological sums of stages from different times. This view of persistence would force us to drop the idea that there is genuine change in the world. By exploiting a presentist metaphysics, Brogaard proposed a theory, called presentist four-dimensionalism, that aims to reconcile perdurantism with the idea that things undergo real change. However, her proposal commits us to reject the idea that stages must exist in their entirety. Giving up the tenet that all the stages are (...)
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  27. Presentism and Cross-Time Relations.Rognvaldur Ingthorsson - 2019 - In Patrick Blackburn, Per Hasle & Peter Ohrstrom (eds.), Logic and Philosophy of Time: Further Themes from Prior, Vol. 2. Aalborg, Denmark: pp. 53–72.
    This paper is a partial defence of presentism against the argument from cross-time relations. It is argued, first, that the Aristotelian view of causation and persistence does not really depict these phenomena in terms of relations between entities existing at different times, and indeed excludes the possibility of such cross-time relations obtaining. Second, it is argued that to reject the existence of the past—and thereby be unable to ground the truth of claims about the past—does not lead to any absurd (...)
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  28. O dilema presentista.Matheus Diesel Werberich - 2019 - Em Curso 6 (1):105-114.
    The aim of the present paper is to show that presentism cannot answer the truthmaker objection in a satisfactory manner. For such, two main categories of presentist solutions were studied: the first kind states that truthmakers can’t provide any objection to presentism, while the second type tries to ground past truths by postulating new ontological categories, which were rejected, mainly because of their use of ad hoc ontologies. Also, I showed how the presentist should adopt antirealism about the past in (...)
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  29. What is Temporal Ontology?Natalja Deng - 2018 - Philosophical Studies 175 (3):793-807.
    Temporal ontology is the part of ontology involving the rival positions of presentism, eternalism, and the growing block theory. While this much is clear, it’s surprisingly difficult to elucidate the substance of the disagreement between presentists and eternalists. Certain events happened that are not happening now; what is it to disagree about whether these events exist? In spite of widespread suspicion concerning the status and methods of analytic metaphysics, skeptics’ doubts about this debate have not generally been heeded, neither by (...)
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  30. Thisnesses, Propositions, and Truth.David Ingram - 2018 - Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 99 (3):442-463.
    Presentists, who believe that only present objects exist, should accept a thisness ontology, since it can do considerable work in defence of presentism. In this paper, I propose a version of presentism that involves thisnesses of past and present entities and I argue this view solves important problems facing standard versions of presentism.
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  31. L’éternité sans le temps.Baptiste Le Bihan - 2018 - Revue Philosophique De Louvain 116 (3):441-462.
    L'éternalisme implique une forme exotique d'éternité : toute entité, aussi éphémère soit-elle et quelle que soit sa localisation dans le temps, existe relativement à toute autre localisation temporelle. Cet essai vise, premièrement, à défendre l'éternalisme en exhibant les difficultés rédhibitoires du présentisme et du non-futurisme, et deuxièmement à examiner de quelle manière l'éternalisme pourrait être amendé à l'aune d'une affirmation que l'on trouve sous la plume de certains physiciens, à savoir que, fondamentalement, le temps n'existe pas. La disparition du temps (...)
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  32. Contre les défenses du présentisme par le sens commun.Baptiste Le Bihan - 2018 - Igitur 9 (1):1-24.
    According to presentism, only the present exists. The view is in a bad dialectical situation since it has to face several objections based on physics and a priori arguments. The view remains nonetheless popular because it is, allegedly, more intuitive than alternative views, namely eternalism (past, present and future entities exist) and no-futurism (only past and present entities exist). In the essay, I shall not discuss whether intuitivity is an accurate criterion for ontological enquiry. I will rather argue that any (...)
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  33. Imprints in Time: Towards a Moderately Robust Past.Michael Longenecker - 2018 - Philosophical Studies 175 (10):2429-2446.
    Presentism says that only present objects exist. But the view has trouble grounding past-tensed truths like “dinosaurs existed”. Standard Eternalism grounds those truths by positing the existence of past objects—like dinosaurs. But Standard Eternalism conflicts with the intuition that there is genuine change—the intuition that there once were dinosaurs and no longer are any. I offer a novel theory of time—‘The Imprint’—that does a better job preserving both the grounding and genuine change intuitions. The Imprint says that the past and (...)
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  34. The New Growing Block Theory Vs Presentism.Kristie Miller - 2018 - Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy 61 (3):223-251.
    It was once held to be a virtue of the growing block theory that it combines temporal dynamism with a straightforward account of in virtue of what past-tensed propositions are true, and an explanation for why some future-tensed propositions are not true (assuming they are not). This put the growing block theory ahead of its principal dynamist rival: presentism. Recently, new growing block theorists have suggested that what makes true, past-tensed propositions, is not the same kind of thing as what (...)
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  35. Time Travel and the Movable Present.Sara Bernstein - 2017 - In John Keller (ed.), Being, Freedom, and Method: Themes from the Philosophy of Peter van Inwagen. pp. 80-94.
    In "Changing the Past" (2010), Peter van Inwagen argues that a time traveler can change the past without paradox in a growing block universe. After erasing the portion of past existence that generates paradox, a new, non-paradox-generating block can be "grown" after the temporal relocation of the time traveler. -/- I articulate and explore the underlying mechanism of Van Inwagen's model: the time traveler's control over the location of the objective present. Van Inwagen's model is aimed at preventing paradox by (...)
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  36. Presentism, Temporal Distributional Properties, and Fundamentality.Matthew Green - 2017 - Aporia 16:1-8.
    According to presentism, everything that exists is present. According to the truthmaker principle, for every true proposition there is a truthmaker – an entity that suffices for the truth of that proposition. According to realism about the past, there are true propositions about the past. Together these claims necessitate presently existing truthmakers for truths about the past (presentist truthmakers). Cameron (2010) argues that temporal distributional properties (TDPs) can play the role of presentist truthmakers. Corkum (2014) argues that they cannot. I (...)
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  37. Challenging the Grounding Objection to Presentism.Rognvaldur Ingthorsson - 2017 - Manuscrito 40 (1):87-107.
    The grounding objection to presentism rests on two premises: (i) every true proposition P has a truthmaker T, and (ii) some claims about the future and past are obviously true. However, if the future and past do not exist, there can be no truthmakers for future and past tensed expressions. Presentists tend not to challenge the premises of the objection. Instead they argue that the present contains all the truthmakers we need. Presentists should challenge the premises instead. First, finding truthmakers (...)
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  38. Relativity Theory May Not Have the Last Word on the Nature of Time: Quantum Theory and Probabilism.Nicholas Maxwell - 2017 - In G. Ghirardi & S. Wuppulur (eds.), Space, Time and the Limits of Human Understanding. Springer. pp. 109-124.
    Two radically different views about time are possible. According to the first, the universe is three dimensional. It has a past and a future, but that does not mean it is spread out in time as it is spread out in the three dimensions of space. This view requires that there is an unambiguous, absolute, cosmic-wide "now" at each instant. According to the second view about time, the universe is four dimensional. It is spread out in both space and time (...)
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  39. A Taxonomy of Views About Time in Buddhist and Western Philosophy.Kristie Miller - 2017 - Philosophy East and West 67 (3):763-782.
    We find the claim that time is not real in both western and eastern philosophical traditions. In what follows I will call the view that time does not exist temporal error theory. Temporal error theory was made famous in western analytic philosophy in the early 1900s by John McTaggart (1908) and, in much the same tradition, temporal error theory was subsequently defended by Gödel (1949). The idea that time is not real, however, stretches back much further than that. It is (...)
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  40. Abstract Entities in a Presentist World.Aldo Filomeno - 2016 - Metaphysica 17 (2):177-193.
    How can a metaphysics of abstract entities be built upon a metaphysics of time? In this paper, I address the question of how to accommodate abstract entities in a presentist world. I consider both the traditional metaontological approach of unrestricted fundamental quantification and then ontological pluralism. I argue that under the former we need to impose two constraints in the characterization of presentism in order to avoid undesired commitments to abstract entities: we have to characterize presentism as a thesis only (...)
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  41. Presentism: Foreigner-Friendly or Xenophobic?Bryan Frances - 2016 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 94 (3):479-488.
    I argue that, for all we know, there are perfectly ordinary actual entities that are temporal in the usual sense and yet never present, past, or future. This epistemic fact requires us to modify the theses of presentism and eternalism. More importantly, it generates three new and quite serious objections to presentism, which I formulate and partially evaluate in this paper.
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  42. Defining Original Presentism.Jesse M. Mulder - 2016 - Kriterion - Journal of Philosophy 30 (2):29-60.
    It is surprisingly hard to define presentism. Traditional definitions of the view, in terms of tensed existence statements, have turned out not to to be capable of convincingly distinguishing presentism from eternalism. Picking up on a recent proposal by Tallant, I suggest that we need to locate the break between eternalism and presentism on a much more fundamental level. The problem is that presentists have tried to express their view within a framework that is inherently eternalist. I call that framework (...)
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  43. The Puzzle of the Changing Past.Luca Barlassina & Fabio Del Prete - 2015 - Analysis 75 (1):59-67.
    If you utter sentence ‘Obama was born in 1961’ now, you say something true about the past. Since the past will always be such that the year 1961 has the property of being a time in which Obama was born, it seems impossible that could ever be false in a future context of utterance. We shall consider the case of a sentence about the past exactly like , but which was true when uttered a few years ago and is no (...)
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  44. Tensed Truthmaker Theory.Sam Baron - 2015 - Erkenntnis 80 (5):923-944.
    Presentism faces a serious challenge from truthmaker theory. Standard solutions to the truthmaker objection against presentism proceed in one of two ways. Easy road presentists invoke new entities to satisfy the requirements of truthmaker theory. Hard road presentists, by contrast, flatly refuse to give in to truthmaker demands. Recently, a third way has been proposed. This response seeks to address the truthmaking problem by tensing our truthmaker principles. These views, though intuitive, are under-developed. In this paper, I get serious about (...)
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  45. Present Time.Gustavo E. Romero - 2015 - Foundations of Science 20 (2):135-145.
    The idea of a moving present or ‘now’ seems to form part of our most basic beliefs about reality. Such a present, however, is not reflected in any of our theories of the physical world. I show in this article that presentism, the doctrine that only what is present exists, is in conflict with modern relativistic cosmology and recent advances in neurosciences. I argue for a tenseless view of time, where what we call ‘the present’ is just an emergent secondary (...)
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  46. Presentism and Relativity.Steven Umbrello - 2015 - The Oxford Philosopher.
    In this short paper I will be explicating and evaluating the arguments presented by Keller and Nelson in their paper, Presentists Should Believe in Time-Travel. I will show that their presuppositions, which are essential to their arguments, have the potential to devastate their position. We will see that one of these presuppositions comes into conflict with the General Theory of Relativity, and I will demonstrate that this endangers both their own agenda and presentism as a whole.
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  47. The Hard Road to Presentism.Jamin Asay & Sam Baron - 2014 - Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 95 (3):314-335.
    It is a common criticism of presentism – the view according to which only the present exists – that it errs against truthmaker theory. Recent attempts to resolve the truthmaker objection against presentism proceed by restricting truthmaker maximalism (the view that all truths have truthmakers), maintaining that propositions concerning the past are not made true by anything, but are true nonetheless. Support for this view is typically garnered from the case for negative existential propositions, which some philosophers contend are exceptions (...)
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  48. Presentism, Truthmakers and Distributional Properties.Phil Corkum - 2014 - Synthese 191 (14):3427-46.
    Presentists face a challenge from truthmaker theory: if you hold both that the only existing objects are presently existing and that truth supervenes on being, then you will be hard pressed to identify some existent on which a given true but traceless claim about the past supervenes. One reconciliation strategy, advocated by Cameron (2011), is to appeal to distributional properties so to serve as presently existing truthmakers for past truths. I argue that a presentist ought to deny that distributional properties (...)
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  49. Becoming: Temporal, Absolute, and Atemporal.M. Oreste Fiocco - 2014 - In L. Nathan Oaklander (ed.), Debates in the Metaphysics of Time. Bloomsbury Academic. pp. 87-107.
    There are two conspicuous and inescapable features of this world in which time is real. One experiences a world in flux, a transient world in which things constantly come into existence, change and cease to be. One also experiences a stable world, one in which how things are at any given moment is permanent, unchangeable. Thus, there is transience and permanence. Yet these two features of the world seem incompatible. The primary purpose of this paper is to sketch a metaphysics (...)
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  50. In Defense of the Compossibility of Presentism and Time Travel.Thomas Hall - 2014 - Logos and Episteme 5 (2):141-159.
    In this paper I defend the compossibility of presentism and time travel from two objections. One objection is that the presentist’s model of time leaves nowhere to travel to; the second objection attempts to equate presentist time travel with suicide. After targeting some misplaced scrutiny of the first objection, I show that presentists have the resources to account for the facts that make for time travel on the traditional Lewisian view. In light of this ability, I argue that both of (...)
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