- Presentism is the view that only present things exist ("Hinchliff (Mark) - The Puzzle of Change", 1996: 123; Crisp “On Presentism and Triviality”, 2004: 15; "Markosian (Ned) - A Defense of Presentism", 2004: 47–48). So understood, presentism is an ontological doctrine; it’s a view about what exists (what there is), absolutely and unrestrictedly.
- The view is the subject of extensive discussion in the literature, with much of it focused on the problems that presentism allegedly faces. Thus, much of the literature that frames the development of presentism has grown up either in formulating objections to the view (e.g., "Sider (Ted) - Four-dimensionalism: An Ontology of Persistence and Time", 2001: 11–52), or in response to such objections (e.g., "Bigelow (John) - Presentism and Properties", 1996; Markosian 2004), with exceptions to this largely coming via the ways in which presentism is motivated.
- This entry mirrors the structure of that literature, for the most part. Here’s the plan for what follows.
- We begin with a more detailed sketch of presentism, its commitments and motivations.
- Then we move to consider several concerns that have been raised for presentists.
- We use these to illustrate both the breadth and severity of the challenges that presentism faces, as well as the range of different versions of presentism developed to help meet these challenges.
- What is Presentism?
- Motivating Presentism
- Definitional Concerns
→ 3.1 Counterexamples to P2
→ 3.2 The Collapse of P3
→ 3.3 Existence Presentism
- Cross-Temporal Relations
- Reference and Propositions
→ 5.1 Singular Propositions
- Truth and Truth-Making
→ 6.1 Locate the Truth-Makers
→ 6.2 Deny the Need for Truth-Makers
→ 6.3 The Truth-Making Relation isn’t Existence-Entailing
→ 6.4 Truths about Spans of Time
- Temporal Passage
- Relativistic Physics
First published Mon Jan 22, 2018
Text Colour Conventions (see disclaimer)
- Blue: Text by me; © Theo Todman, 2019
- Mauve: Text by correspondent(s) or other author(s); © the author(s)