The Moving Spotlight

In Nina Emery (ed.), The Routledge Companion to Philosophy of Time. Routledge (forthcoming)
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We examine moving spotlight theories of time: theories according to which there are past and future events and an objective present moment. In Section 1, we briefly discuss the origins of the view. In Section 2, we describe the traditional moving spotlight view, which we understand as an ‘enriched’ B-theory of time, and raise some problems for that view. In the next two sections, we describe versions of the moving spotlight view that we think are better and which solve those problems. In Section 3, we describe a version of the view that combines permanentism – the thesis that all things always exist – with propositional temporalism, the thesis that some propositions are sometimes true and sometimes false. In Section 4, we discuss a version of the view that is like an ‘enriched’ presentism. We conclude with some brief thoughts on issues that remain outstanding.

Author Profiles

Ross Cameron
University of Virginia
Daniel Deasy
University College Dublin


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