David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
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Noûs 46 (2):223-242 (2012)
According to the moving spotlight theory of time, the property of being present moves from earlier times to later times, like a spotlight shone on spacetime by God. In more detail, the theory has three components. First, it is a version of eternalism: all times, past present and future, exist. (Here I use “exist” in its tenseless sense.) Second, it is a version of the A-theory of time: there are nonrelative facts about which times are past, which time is present, and which times are future. That is, it is not just that the year 1066 is past relative to 2007. The year 1066 is also past full-stop, not relative to any other time. (The A-theory is opposed to the B-theory of time, which says that facts about which times are past are relative to other times.) And third, on this view the passage of time is a real phenomenon. Which moment is present keeps changing. As I will sometimes put it, the NOW moves from the past toward the future.1 And this does not mean that relative to different times, different times are present. Even the B-theory can say that 1999 is present relative to 1999 but is not present relative to 2007. No, according to the moving spotlight theory, the claim that which moment is present keeps changing is supposed to be true, even from a perspective outside time.
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References found in this work BETA
Theodore Sider (2001). Four Dimensionalism: An Ontology of Persistence and Time. Oxford University Press.
Dean W. Zimmerman (2005). The A-Theory of Time, the B-Theory of Time, and 'Taking Tense Seriously'. Dialectica 59 (4):401–457.
David Braddon-Mitchell (2004). How Do We Know It is Now Now? Analysis 64 (3):199–203.
Sydney Shoemaker (1969). Time Without Change. Journal of Philosophy 66 (12):363-381.
Peter Forrest (2004). The Real but Dead Past: A Reply to Braddon-Mitchell. Analysis 64 (4):358–362.
Citations of this work BETA
Natalja Deng (2015). On Whether B-Theoretic Atheists Should Fear Death. Philosophia 43 (4):1011-1021.
Sam Baron (2014). The Priority of the Now. Pacific Philosophical Quarterly:0-0.
Lisa Leininger (2015). Presentism and the Myth of Passage. Australasian Journal of Philosophy 93 (4):724-739.
Michael J. Raven (2011). Can Time Pass at the Rate of 1 Second Per Second? Australasian Journal of Philosophy 89 (3):459 - 465.
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Edward N. Zalta (1987). On the Structural Similarities Between Worlds and Times. Philosophical Studies 51 (2):213-239.
Eric Olson (2009). The Passage of Time. In Robin Le Poidevin (ed.), The Routledge Companion to Metaphysics. Routledge
Dean Zimmerman (2011). Presentism and the Space-Time Manifold. In Craig Callender (ed.), The Oxford Handbook of Philosophy of Time. Oxford University Press 163--246.
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