The Moving Spotlight Theory
Deasy (Daniel)
Source: Philosophical Studies 2015, 172: 2073-2089
Paper - Abstract

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Author’s Abstract

  1. The aim of this paper is to describe and defend the moving spotlight theory of time. I characterise the moving spotlight theory as the conjunction of two theses: permanentism, the thesis that everything exists forever, and the A-theory, the thesis that there is an absolute, objective present time.
  2. I begin in §2 by clearing up some common misconceptions about the moving spotlight theory, focusing on the discussion of the theory in Sider (2011). In doing so, I also fill-out the bare-bones picture of the moving spotlight theory as the conjunction of permanentism and the A-theory.
  3. In §3 I show how moving spotlighters can avoid the two most common objections to their view, the McTaggartian arguments that the view is contradictory, and the epistemic argument that the view implies that we should believe we are not located at the present moment.
  4. I conclude that the moving spotlight theory does not deserve its current relative unpopularity.


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