Presentism and the Experience of Time

Topoi 34 (1):265-275 (2015)
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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, suffers from the same difficulties that the instantaneous present is prone to. After introducing the main phenomenological models of our experience of time that are discussed in the literature, I show that none of them favors presentism. I conclude by arguing that if even the phenomenology of time sides against presentism, the latter metaphysical theory has no scientific evidence in its favor and ought to be dropped

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Mauro Dorato
Università degli Studi Roma Tre


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