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The Moving Spotlight Theory

Philosophical Studies 172 (8):2073-2089 (2015)

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  1. Presentism and the Sceptical Challenge.Giuliano Torrengo - 2016 - Manuscrito 39 (4):101-116.
    Even hard-core metaphysicians should admit that certain disputesmay indeed turn out not tobe substantive. The debate between presentism and eternalism has recently come undersceptical attack. The aim of the paper is to argue that a certain approach to presentism is indeedin danger of succumbing to the sceptic, and thus a no-go for the presentist.
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  • B-Theory and Time Biases.Sayid Bnefsi - 2019 - In Patrick Blackburn, Per Hasle & Peter Øhrstrøm (eds.), Logic and Philosophy of Time: Further Themes from Prior. Aalborg, Denmark: Aalborg University Press. pp. 41-52.
    We care not only about what experiences we have, but when we have them too. However, on the B-theory of time, something’s timing isn’t an intrinsic way for that thing to be or become. Given B-theory, should we be rationally indifferent about the timing per se of an experience? In this paper, I argue that B-theorists can justify time-biased preferences for pains to be past rather than present and for pleasures to be present rather than past. In support of this (...)
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  • 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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  • The Moving Spotlight.Giuseppe Spolaore & Giuliano Torrengo - forthcoming - Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy:1-18.
    ABSTRACTThe moving spotlight account is a view that combines an eternalist ontology and an A-theoretic metaphysics. The intuition underlying MS is that the present time is somehow privileged a...
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  • No Ground for Doomsday.Roberto Loss - forthcoming - Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy:1-21.
    The ability of providing an adequate supervenience base for tensed truths may seem to be one of the main theoretical advantages of both the growing-block and the moving-spotlight theory of time over presentism. However, in this paper I will argue that some propositions appear to be as problematic for growing-block theorists as past-directed propositions are for presentists, namely propositions stating that nothing will be the case in the future. Furthermore, I will show that the moving-spotlight theory can adequately address all (...)
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  • The Triviality Argument Against Presentism.Daniel Deasy - 2019 - Synthese 196 (8):3369-3388.
    Presentism is typically characterised as the thesis that everything is present, and therefore there are no dinosaurs or Martian presidential inaugurations. Putting aside the vexed question of exactly what it is to be present in this context, this thesis seems quite straightforward. However, a number of authors—such as Merricks, Lombard, Meyer, Tallant and Sakon —have argued that Presentism so characterised is either trivially true or false even by Presentist lights. This is the so-called Triviality Argument against Presentism. In this paper (...)
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  • Tense and Relativity.Andrew Bacon - 2018 - Noûs 52 (3):667-696.
    Those inclined to positions in the philosophy of time that take tense seriously have typically assumed that not all regions of space-time are equal: one special region of space-time corresponds to what is presently happening. When combined with assumptions from modern physics this has the unsettling consequence that the shape of this favored region distinguishes people in certain places or people traveling at certain velocities. In this paper I shall attempt to avoid this result by developing a tensed picture of (...)
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  • No Time for Powers.Marius Backmann - forthcoming - Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy:1-29.
    ABSTRACTIn this paper, I will investigate the compatibility of different metaphysics of time with the powers view. At first sight, it seems natural to combine some sort of powers ontology with a dy...
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  • Ross Cameron’s The Moving Spotlight.Theodore Sider - 2017 - Analysis 77 (4):788-799.
    According to Ross Cameron's version of the moving spotlight theory of time, (1) Past and future entities exist; (2) the properties and relations they have are those they have now; but nevertheless (3) there are no fundamental past- or future-tensed facts; instead, tensed facts are made true by fundamental facts about the possession of temporal distributional properties and facts about how old things are. I argue that the account isn't sufficiently distinct from the B-theory to fit the usual A-theorist's tastes (...)
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  • Das Verständnis des zeitlosen Gottes.Peter Volek - 2019 - Scientia et Fides 7 (1):111-126.
    Die Eine von der Grundeigenschaften Gottes ist die Ewigkeit. Die Ewigkeit kann man traditionell als zeitlos oder modern als zeitlich verstehen. Zu den wichtigsten Kritikpunkten an der zeitlosen Ewigkeit gehört der Einwand, dass der zeitlose Gott in der Welt nicht wirken kann. Die Gründe für solche Behauptungen kommen daher, dass der zeitlose Gott nicht wissen kann, was sich in der Welt früher oder später ereignet, er weiß nicht, welche Ereignisse aktuell, vergangen oder zukünftig sind. Gott hat nur ein tatsächliches Wissen, (...)
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  • On Whether B-Theoretic Atheists Should Fear Death.Natalja Deng - 2015 - Philosophia 43 (4):1011-1021.
    In this paper I revisit a dispute between Mikel Burley and Robin Le Poidevin about whether or not the B-theory of time can give its adherents any reason to be less afraid of death. In ‘Should a B-theoretic atheist fear death?’, Burley argues that even on Le Poidevin’s understanding of the B-theory, atheists shouldn’t be comforted. His reason is that the prevalent B-theoretic account of our attitudes towards the past and future precludes treating our fear of death as unwarranted. I (...)
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  • The Cresting Wave: A New Moving Spotlight Theory.Kristie Miller - 2018 - Canadian Journal of Philosophy 49 (1):94-122.
    One argument for the moving spotlight theory is that it better explains certain aspects of our temporal phenomenology than does any static theory of time. Call this the argument from passage phenomenology. In this paper it is argued that insofar as moving spotlight theorists take this to be a sound argument they ought embrace a new version of the moving spotlight theory according to which the moving spotlight is a cresting wave of causal efficacy. On this view it is more (...)
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  • Objective Becoming.Meghan Sullivan - 2018 - Philosophical Review 127 (3):418-422.
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  • Because Without Cause: Non-Causal Explanations in Science and Mathematics.Mark Povich & Carl F. Craver - 2018 - Philosophical Review 127 (3):422-426.
    Lange’s collection of expanded, mostly previously published essays, packed with numerous, beautiful examples of putatively non-causal explanations from biology, physics, and mathematics, challenges the increasingly ossified causal consensus about scientific explanation, and, in so doing, launches a new field of philosophic investigation. However, those who embraced causal monism about explanation have done so because appeal to causal factors sorts good from bad scientific explanations and because the explanatory force of good explanations seems to derive from revealing the relevant causal (or (...)
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  • Metaphysics of Laws and Ontology of Time.Cord Friebe - 2018 - Theoria: Revista de Teoría, Historia y Fundamentos de la Ciencia 33 (1):77-89.
    At first glance, every metaphysics of laws can be combined with every ontology of time. In contrast, the paper intends to show that Humeanism requires eternalism and that Power metaphysics must presuppose an existentially dynamical view of temporal existence, i.e. growing block or presentism. The presented arguments turn out to be completely independent of whether the laws of nature are deterministic or probabilistic: the world is non-productive and static or productively dynamical, the future be ‘open’ or not.
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  • Skow, Objective Becoming and the Moving Spotlight.Ross P. Cameron - 2018 - Analysis 78 (1):97-108.
    Skow argues that the best metaphysic of objective becoming is the moving spotlight theory. I agree, but I think the best version of the moving spotlight theory is not amongst the theories Skow describes. I look at Skow's moving spotlight theories that invoke an extra dimension of supertime, or new primitive supertense operators, or that make presentness a fundamentally relational phenomenon, and I raise some problems for these views. I argue that the moving spotlighter should take presentness to be an (...)
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  • Nunc Pro Tunc. The Problem of Retroactive Enactments.Giuliano Torrengo - 2018 - Philosophia 46 (1):241-250.
    In this paper, I present a problem for the realist with respect to the institutional sphere, and suggest a solution. Roughly, the problem lies in a contradiction that arises as soon as institutional contexts are allowed to influence the institutional profile of objects and events not only in the present, but also in the past. If such “retroactive enactments” are effective, in order to avoid contradiction the realist seems to have to accept the unpleasant conclusion that institutions can create a (...)
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  • Philosophical Arguments Against the A-Theory.Daniel Deasy - 2018 - Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 99 (2):270-292.
    According to the A-theory of time some instant of time is absolutely present. Many reject the A-theory on the grounds that it is inconsistent with current spacetime physics, which appears to leave no room for absolute presentness. However, some reject the A-theory on purely philosophical grounds. In this article I describe three purely philosophical arguments against the A-theory and show that there are plausible A-theoretic responses to each of them. I conclude that, whatever else is wrong with the A-theory, it (...)
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  • Skow on Robust Passage and The Moving Spotlight Theory.Daniel Deasy - 2018 - Philosophical Studies 175 (7):1791-1805.
    Bradford Skow’s Objective Becoming (2015) is a strikingly original and philosophically rich contribution to contemporary philosophy of time. The book rewards very careful study, and is surely a ‘must-read’ for anyone with an interest in current debates concerning time and change. Perhaps the most immediately compelling aspect of the book is its leading question: if I [Skow] didn’t already accept the ‘block universe theory’ (BU),1 which theory of time would I defend? Skow’s surprising (and, from my perspective, welcome!) answer is (...)
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  • Hyper-Russellian Skepticism.Giuliano Torrengo - 2018 - Metaphysica 19 (1):1-17.
    The hyper-Russellian skeptic is someone who thinks that only one of all your experiences was, is, and will ever be conscious. Which one? The very one you are having now. Before you were always a zombie, and you will be a zombie for ever after. In the present literature on the metaphysics of passage of time, there is disagreement on whether our feeling that time passes — the “dynamic flavor” of our ordinary experience — provides support to the A-theory, that (...)
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