Explanation and nowness: an objection to the A-Theory

Philosophical Studies 172 (9):2513-2530 (2015)
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This paper presents an argument against the A-Theory of time. Briefly, I shall contend that the A-Theorist has no explanation for why the present moment in particular has the metaphysical privilege she accords it, and that this puts the theory at a disadvantage. In what follows, I shall begin by presenting this argument. I will follow that with some potential explanations for why the present moment is privileged and reasons militating against them, in addition to some other possible objections to my argument and my responses to them. The conclusion will be that the A-Theorist fails to provide either an obvious or a theoretical explanation of the present time’s privileged status and is thereby at a theoretical disadvantage to theories that do not posit a metaphysically privileged present time. Topics covered include the purported analogy between times and worlds, the possibility that times are individuated by what is true at them, and the semantic status of titles for date-times

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Leo Mollica
University of Pittsburgh


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