Presentism and The Grounding Objection
Crisp (Thomas M.)
Source: Noûs, Vol. 41, No. 1 (Mar., 2007), pp. 90-109
Paper - Abstract

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Author’s Abstract

  1. Presentists think that only present things exist. But according to a popular line of objection, their thesis has an unacceptable implication: if there were only present things, there would be nothing to ground past and future truths. It is a plausible principle that contingent truths like Socrates existed are true only if there is some thing or things in the world that ground their truth, that make them true. But what among the present things – which according to the presentist, exhaust reality – grounds a truth like Socrates existed? Says the objector: nothing. So presentists face an uncomfortable dilemma: reject the principle that contingent truths need grounding or give up obvious truths about the past like Socrates existed. Neither option is attractive.
  2. Such is the grounding objection to presentism, roughly stated. I argue in this paper that presentists have an adequate reply. After setting out the objection in proper detail, I expand on a reply once advocated by John Bigelow (19961) and defend my expanded reply against objections.

In-Page Footnotes

Footnote 1: See "Bigelow (John) - Presentism and Properties".

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