Relativity and the Moving Spotlight
Skow (Bradford)
Source: The Journal of Philosophy, Vol. 106, No. 12 (Dec., 2009), pp. 666-678
Paper - Abstract

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Author’s Introduction

  1. The moving spotlight theory of time is usually introduced as follows. The theory combines eternalism – the doctrine that past, present, and future times all exist – with "objective becoming."
  2. The claim that there is objective becoming has two parts.
    1. First, facts about which time is present are nonrelative. That is, even if in some sense each time is present relative to itself, only one time is absolutely present. That time, and only that time, glows with a special metaphysical status.
    2. And second, which instant is absolutely present keeps changing. The NOW moves along the series of times from earlier times to later times.
  3. There are lots of objections to the moving spotlight theory. But one objection to the theory looks particularly devastating. The objection is that the theory is incompatible with special relativity.
  4. Whatever the force of the other objections to the moving spotlight theory, I do not think that this one is good. My goal in this paper is to explain how to formulate the moving spotlight theory so that it is compatible with special relativity.

Text Colour Conventions (see disclaimer)

  1. Blue: Text by me; © Theo Todman, 2017
  2. Mauve: Text by correspondent(s) or other author(s); © the author(s)



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