The fate of presentism in modern physics
Wuthrich (Christian)
Source: Forthcoming in Roberto Ciunti, Kristie Miller, and Giuliano Torrengo (eds.), New Papers on the Present|Focus on Presentism, Philosophia Verlag, Munich
Paper - Abstract

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Author’s Introduction

  1. Defining ‘presentism’ in a way that saves it from being trivially false yet metaphysically substantively distinct from eternalism is no mean feat, as the first part of this collection testifies.
  2. In Wuthrich (forthcoming1), I have offered an attempt to achieve just this, arguing that this is best done in the context of modern spacetime theories.
  3. Here, I shall refrain from going through all the motions again and simply state the characterization of an ersatzist version of presentism as it has emerged from considerations there.
  4. Any acceptable formulation of presentism should remain neutral among competing spacetime theories in order to enable the present project of assessing the compatibility of presentism with various theories of modern physics, including both spacetime theories and theories of physical processes situated in a spatiotemporal setting.
  5. The main issue in the triviality debate as I see it concerns the representation of events without an accompanying ontological commitment. If the presentist can find a way to represent non-present events without eo ipso committing herself to their existence, then expressing her metaphysical disagreement with the eternalist seems rather straightforward. This naturally leads to an ersatzist position which introduces non-present events merely for representational purposes without imbuing them with physical existence.

Comment:

For the full text, see Wuthrich - The fate of presentism in modern physics.



In-Page Footnotes

Footnote 1:

Text Colour Conventions (see disclaimer)

  1. Blue: Text by me; © Theo Todman, 2019
  2. Mauve: Text by correspondent(s) or other author(s); © the author(s)



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