Eternalism and the problem of hyperplanes

Ratio 35 (2):91-103 (2022)
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Abstract

Eternalism is the view that the past, the present and the future exist simpliciter. A typical argument in favor of this view leans on the relativity of simultaneity. The ‘equally real with’ relation is assumed to be transitive between spacelike separated events connected by hyperplanes of simultaneity. This reasoning is in tension with the conventionality of simultaneity. Conventionality indicates that, even within a specific frame, simultaneity is based on the choice of the synchronization parameter. Hence the argument for eternalism is compromised. This paper lays out alternative eternalist strategies which do not hinge on hyperplanes. While we lack a rigorous proof for eternalism, there are still cogent reasons to prefer eternalism over presentism.

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Matias Kimi Slavov
Tampere University

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