Metametaphysics: the Ontology of Spacetime and the Presentist/Eternalist Debate
Friebe (Cord)
Source:, 2014
Paper - Abstract

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Author’s Introduction

  1. The analytic metaphysics of time is characterized by some conceptual distinctions such as “tensed” vs. “tenseless” and “A-series” vs. “B-series” which leads to many opposing views being apparently substantial and metaphysical in character (see, for instance: Mellor, 1998; Smith, 1993; Tooley, 1997).
  2. As in other fields of ontology, however, the debates within the philosophy of time seemingly have a common fate: at the beginning, two or more intuitively profoundly different positions are spelled out philosophically, a long-lasting debate starts, people defend their views vigorously and with highly sophisticated arguments, but after some decades the dispute reaches a stalemate.
  3. Then, the question arises whether there really is a substantial ontological distinction, or whether in fact the dispute is merely verbal, dissolvable by disambiguation of the relevant concepts.
  4. The dispute between presentists and eternalists is one paradigmatic example of this sort.


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