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Bibliography: Presentism in Metaphysics
  1. Matthew Davidson (forthcoming). Presentism and Grounding Past Truths. In Roberto Ciuni, Giuliano Torrengo & Kristie Miller (eds.), New Papers on the Present: Focus on Presentism. Verlag.score: 27.0
    I set out and evaluate several solutions to the grounding problem for presentism.
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  2. Ben Caplan & David Sanson (2011). Presentism and Truthmaking. Philosophy Compass 6 (3):196-208.score: 24.0
    Three plausible views—Presentism, Truthmaking, and Independence—form an inconsistent triad. By Presentism, all being is present being. By Truthmaking, all truth supervenes on, and is explained in terms of, being. By Independence, some past truths do not supervene on, or are not explained in terms of, present being. We survey and assess some responses to this.
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  3. Jamin Asay & Sam Baron (2014). The Hard Road to Presentism. Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 95 (3):314-335.score: 24.0
    It is a common criticism of presentism – the view according to which only the present exists – that it errs against truthmaker theory. Recent attempts to resolve the truthmaker objection against presentism proceed by restricting truthmaker maximalism (the view that all truths have truthmakers), maintaining that propositions concerning the past are not made true by anything, but are true nonetheless. Support for this view is typically garnered from the case for negative existential propositions, which some philosophers contend (...)
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  4. Rafael De Clercq (2006). Presentism and the Problem of Cross-Time Relations. Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 72 (2):386-402.score: 24.0
    Presentism is the view that only present entities exist. Recently, several authors have asked the question whether presentism is able to account for cross-time relations, i.e., roughly, relations between entities existing at different times. In this paper I claim that this question is to be answered in the affirmative. To make this claim plausible, I consider four types of cross-time relation and show how each can be accommodated without difficulty within the metaphysical framework of presentism.
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  5. Alex Baia (2012). Presentism and the Grounding of Truth. Philosophical Studies 159 (3):341-356.score: 24.0
    Many philosophers believe that truth is grounded: True propositions depend for their truth on the world. Some philosophers believe that truth’s grounding has implications for our ontology of time. If truth is grounded, then truth supervenes on being. But if truth supervenes on being, then presentism is false since, on presentism, e.g., that there were dinosaurs fails to supervene on the whole of being plus the instantiation pattern of properties and relations. Call this the grounding argument against (...). Many presentists claim that the grounding argument fails because, despite appearances, supervenience is compatible with presentism. In this paper, I claim that the grounding argument fails because, despite appearances, truth’s grounding gives the presentist no compelling reason to adopt the sort of supervenience principle at work in the grounding argument. I begin by giving two precisifications of the grounding principle: truthmaking and supervenience. In Sect. 2, I give the grounding argument against presentism. In Sect. 3, I argue that we should distinguish between eternalist and presentist notions of grounding; once this distinction is in hand, the grounding argument is undercut. In Sect. 4, I show how the presentist’s notion of grounding leads to presentist-friendly truthmaking and supervenience principles. In Sect. 5, I address some potential objections. (shrink)
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  6. Mauro Dorato (2012). Presentism/Eternalism and Endurantism/Perdurantism: Why the Unsubstantiality of the First Debate Implies That of the Second. Philosophia Naturalis 49 (1):25-41.score: 24.0
    The main claim that I want to defend in this paper is that the there are logical equivalences between eternalism and perdurantism on the one hand and presentism and endurantism on the other. By “logical equivalence” I mean that one position is entailed and entails the other. As a consequence of this equivalence, it becomes important to inquire into the question whether the dispute between endurantists and perdurantists is authentic, given that Savitt (2006) Dolev (2006) and Dorato (2006) have (...)
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  7. Sam Baron (2013). Tensed Supervenience: A No‐Go for Presentism. Southern Journal of Philosophy 51 (3):383-401.score: 24.0
    Recent attempts to resolve the truthmaker objection to presentism employ a fundamentally tensed account of the relationship between truth and being. On this view, the truth of a proposition concerning the past supervenes on how things are, in the present, along with how things were, in the past. This tensed approach to truthmaking arises in response to pressure placed on presentists to abandon the standard response to the truthmaker objection, whereby one invokes presently existing entities as the supervenience base (...)
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  8. Brannon McDaniel (2009). Presentism and Absence Causation: An Exercise in Mimicry. Australasian Journal of Philosophy 88 (2):323-332.score: 24.0
    If _presentism_ is true, then no wholly non-present events exist. If _absence orthodoxy_ is true, then no absences exist. I discuss a well-known causal argument against presentism, and develop a very similar argument against absence orthodoxy. I argue that solutions to the argument against absence orthodoxy can be adopted by the presentist as solutions to the argument against presentism. The upshot is that if the argument against absence orthodoxy fails, then so does the argument against presentism.
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  9. Christian Wuthrich (2012). Demarcating Presentism. In Henk de Regt, Samir Okasha & Stephan Hartmann (eds.), EPSA Philosophy of Science: Amsterdam 2009. Springer. 441--450.score: 24.0
    This paper argues that recent arguments to the effect that the debate between presentism and eternalism lacks any metaphysical substance ultimately fail, although important lessons can be gleaned from them in how to formulate a non-vacuous version of presentism. It suggests that presentism can best be characterized in the context of spacetime theories. The resulting position is an ersatzist version of presentism that admits merely non-present entities as abstracta deprived of physical existence. Ersatzist presentism both (...)
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  10. Phil Corkum (2014). Presentism, Truthmakers and Distributional Properties. Synthese 191:3427-46.score: 24.0
    Presentists face a challenge from truthmaker theory: if you hold both that the only existing objects are presently existing and that truth supervenes on being, then you will be hard pressed to identify some existent on which a given true but traceless claim about the past supervenes. One reconciliation strategy, advocated by Cameron (2011), is to appeal to distributional properties so to serve as presently existing truthmakers for past truths. I argue that a presentist ought to deny that distributional properties (...)
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  11. L. Nathan Oaklander (2010). Mctaggart's Paradox and Crisp's Presentism. Philosophia 38 (2):229-241.score: 24.0
    In his review of The Ontology of Time, Thomas Crisp (Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews, 2005a ) argues that Oaklander's version of McTaggart's paradox does not make any trouble for his version of presentism. The aim of this paper is to refute that claim by demonstrating that Crisp's version of presentism does indeed succumb to a version of McTaggart's argument. I shall proceed as follows. In Part I I shall explain Crisp's view and then argue in Part II that (...)
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  12. Neil McKinnon (2003). Presentism and Consciousness. Australian Journal of Philosophy 81 (3):305-323.score: 24.0
    The presentist view of time is psychologically appealing. I argue that, ironically, contingent facts about the temporal properties of consciousness are very difficult to square with presentism unless some form of mind/body dualism is embraced.
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  13. Sam Baron (2012). Presentism and Causation Revisited. Philosophical Papers 41 (1):1-21.score: 24.0
    One of the major difficulties facing presentism is the problem of causation. In this paper, I propose a new solution to that problem, one that is compatible with intrinsic, fundamental causal relations. Accommodating relations of this kind is important because (i) according to David Lewis (2004), such relations are needed to account for causation in our world and worlds relevantly similar to our own, (ii) there is no other strategy currently available that successfully reconciles presentism with relations of (...)
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  14. Francesco Orilia (2012). Dynamic Events and Presentism. Philosophical Studies 160 (3):407-414.score: 24.0
    Dynamic events such as a rolling ball moving from one place to another involve change and time intervals and thus presumably successions of static events occurring one after the other, e.g., the ball’s being at a certain place and then at another place during the interval in question. When dynamic events are experienced they should count as present and thus as existent from a presentist point of view. But this seems to imply the existence of the static events involved in (...)
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  15. Bryan Frances, Ontological Presentism and Logical Presentism.score: 24.0
    When pondering the relation of existence to time one often finds oneself with intriguing intuitions expressed with slogans such as ‘Only the present really exists’, ‘Present entities are more real than past or future entities’, and ‘The future is yet to be; the past is no more’. When we express these intuitions, we don’t seem to be saying, in a straightforward way, that past objects such as a recently popped soap bubble are merely no longer present. Instead, we seem to (...)
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  16. Mario Bacelar Valente, The Relativity of Simultaneity and Presentism.score: 24.0
    According to conventional wisdom, presentism is at odds with the theory of relativity. This is supposed to be shown quite simply just by considering the relativity of simultaneity. In this paper I will show that conventional wisdom is wrong. In fact by clarifying the physical meaning of the relativity of simultaneity one can inform the philosophical debate and endorse a presentist view.
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  17. M. Oreste Fiocco (2007). A Defense of Transient Presentism. American Philosophical Quarterly 44 (3):191 - 212.score: 24.0
    Presentism is a controversial and much discussed position in the metaphysics of time. The position is often glossed as simply the view that everything that exists is present. This gloss, however, does not in itself characterize a single view. In this paper, I first propound the variety of presentist views, characterizing the primary dimensions along which the views differ. I then present the version of presentism I deem optimal. The variety among presentist views is so great that the (...)
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  18. Cord Friebe (2012). Twins' Paradox and Closed Timelike Curves: The Role of Proper Time and the Presentist View on Spacetime. [REVIEW] Journal for General Philosophy of Science 43 (2):313-326.score: 24.0
    Relativity allegedly contradicts presentism, the dynamic view of time and reality, according to which temporal passage is conceived of as an existentially distinguished ‘moving’ now. Against this common belief, the paper motivates a presentist interpretation of spacetime: It is argued that the fundamental concept of time—proper time—cannot be characterized by the earlier-later relation, i.e., not in the B-theoretical sense. Only the presentist can provide a temporal understanding of the twins’ paradox and of universes with closed timelike curves.
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  19. Mauro Dorato, Presentism and the Experience of Time.score: 24.0
    Presentists have typically argued that the Block View is incapable of explaining our experience of time. In this paper I argue that the phenomenology of our experience of time is, on the contrary, against presentism. My argument is based on a dilemma: presentists must either assume that the metaphysical present has no temporal extension, or that it is temporally extended. The former horn leads to phenomenological problems. The latter renders presentism metaphysically incoherent, unless one posits a discrete present (...)
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  20. Paul R. Daniels (2012). Back to the Present: Defending Presentist Time Travel. Disputatio 4 (33):469 - 484.score: 24.0
    Here I defend the compatibility of presentism and time travel against a few objections. Keller and Nelson argue that, if presentism is at all plausible, presentism and time travel are as compatible as eternalism and time travel. But Miller and Sider are not convinced. I reply that for their concerns to have merit, Miller and Sider must assume presentists are committed to positions they need not be; I explain why presentists are not so committed and, in the (...)
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  21. Giuliano Torrengo (2013). The Grounding Problem and Presentist Explanations. Synthese 190 (12):2047-2063.score: 24.0
    Opponents of presentism have often argued that the presentist has difficulty in accounting for what makes (presently) true past-tensed propositions (TptP) true in a way that is compatible with her metaphysical view of time and reality. The problem is quite general and concerns not only strong truth-maker principles, but also the requirement that truth be grounded in reality. In order to meet the challenge, presentists have proposed many peculiar present aspects of the world as grounds for truths concerning the (...)
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  22. Gustavo E. Romero & Daniela Pérez (2014). Presentism Meets Black Holes. European Journal for Philosophy of Science 4 (3):293-308.score: 24.0
    Presentism is, roughly, the metaphysical doctrine that maintains that whatever exists, exists in the present. The compatibility of presentism with the theories of special and general relativity was much debated in recent years. It has been argued that at least some versions of presentism are consistent with time-orientable models of general relativity. In this paper we confront the thesis of presentism with relativistic physics, in the strong gravitational limit where black holes are formed. We conclude that (...)
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  23. Dean Zimmerman (2010). The A-Theory of Time, Presentism, and Open Theism. In Science and Religion in Dialogue. Wiley-Blackwell. 789--809.score: 24.0
    This chapter contains sections titled: * I Introduction * II A-Theories and B-Theories * III Competing Versions of the A-Theory * IV Presentism a Trivial Truth? * V Open Theism and the A-Theory of Time * VI The “Truthmaker” Argument * VII Conclusion * Notes.
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  24. Jerzy Gołosz (2013). Presentism, Eternalism, and the Triviality Problem. Logic and Logical Philosophy 22 (1):45-61.score: 24.0
    It is often claimed that the debate between presentism and eternalism is merely verbal, because when we use tensed, detensed or tenseless notions of existence, there is no difference in the accepted metaphysical statements between the adherents of both views. On the contrary, it is shown in this paper that when we express their positions making use, in accordance with intentions of the presentists and the eternalists, of the tensed notion of existence (in the case of the presentists) and (...)
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  25. Neil McKinnon & John Bigelow (2012). Presentism, and Speaking of the Dead. Philosophical Studies 160 (2):253-263.score: 22.0
    Presentists standardly conform to the eternalist’s paradigm of treating all cases of property-exemplification as involving a single relation of instantiation. This, we argue, results in a much less parsimonious and philosophically explanatory picture than is possible if other alternatives are considered. We argue that by committing to primitive past and future tensed instantiation ties, presentists can make gains in both economy and explanatory power. We show how this metaphysical picture plays out in cases where an individual exists to partake in (...)
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  26. Giuliano Torrengo (2014). Ostrich Presentism. Philosophical Studies 170 (2):255-276.score: 22.0
    Ostrich presentists maintain that we can use all the expressive resources of the tensed language to provide an explanation of why true claims about the past are true, without thereby paying any price in terms of ontology or basic ideology. I clarify the position by making a distinction between three kinds of explanation, which has general interest and applicability. I then criticize the ostrich position because it requires an unconstrained version of the third form of explanation, which is out of (...)
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  27. Christian Wuthrich (forthcoming). The Fate of Presentism in Modern Physics. In Roberto Ciuni, Kristie Miller & Giuliano Torrengo (eds.), New Papers on the Present--Focus on Presentism. Philosophia Verlag.score: 21.0
    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. In Wuthrich (forthcoming), I have offered an attempt to achieve just this, arguing that this is best done in the context of modern spacetime theories. Here, I shall refrain from going through all the motions again and simply state the characterization of an ersatzist version of presentism as it (...)
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  28. Tom Stoneham (2009). Time and Truth: The Presentism-Eternalism Debate. Philosophy 84 (2):201-218.score: 18.0
    There are many questions we can ask about time, but perhaps the most fundamental is whether there are metaphysically interesting differences between past, present and future events. An eternalist believes in a block universe: past, present and future events are all on an equal footing. A gradualist believes in a growing block: he agress with the eternalist about the past and the present but not about the future. A presentist believes that what is present has a special status. My first (...)
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  29. Mark Hinchliff (2000). A Defense of Presentism in a Relativistic Setting. Philosophy of Science 67 (3):586.score: 18.0
    Presentism is the view, roughly speaking, that only presently existing things exist. Though presentism offers many attractive solutions to problems in metaphysics, philosophy of language, and philosophy of mind, it faces threats from two main sources: McTaggart and the special theory of relativity. This paper explores the prospects for fitting presentism together with the special theory. Two models are proposed, one which fits presentism into a relativistic setting (the cone model) and one which fits the special (...)
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  30. Ned Markosian (2004). A Defence of Presentism. Oxford Studies in Metaphysics 1 (3):47-82.score: 18.0
    ∗ Apologies to Mark Hinchliff for stealing the title of his dissertation. (See Hinchliff, A Defense of Presentism. As it turns out, however, the version of Presentism defended here is different from the version defended by Hinchliff. See Section 3.1 below.).
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  31. Steven Savitt, Presentism and Eternalism in Perspective.score: 18.0
    The distinction between presentism and eternalism is usually sought in some formula like ‘Only presently existing things exist’ or ‘Past, present, and future events are equally real’. I argue that ambiguities in the copula prevent these slogans from distinguishing significant opposed positions. I suggest in addition that one can find a series of significant distinctions if one takes spacetime structure into account. These presentisms and eternalisms are not contradictory. They are complementary elements of a complete naturalistic philosophy of time.
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  32. Dean W. Zimmerman (1996). Persistence and Presentism. Philosophical Papers 25 (2):115-126.score: 18.0
    The ‘friends of temporal parts’ and their opponents disagree about how things persist through time. The former, who hold what is sometimes called a ‘4D’ theory of persistence, typically claim that all objects that last for any period of time are spread out through time in the same way that spatially extended objects are spread out through space — a different part for each region that the object fills. David Lewis calls this manner of persisting ‘perdurance’. The opposing, ‘3D’ theory (...)
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  33. Jonathan Tallant (2009). Presentism and Truth-Making. Erkenntnis 71 (3):407-416.score: 18.0
    Here, I defend the view that there is no sensible way to pin a truth-maker objection on presentism. First, I suggest that if we adopt truth-maker maximalism then the presentist can requisition appropriate ontological resources with impunity. Second, if we deny maximalism, then the presentist can sensibly restrict the truth-maker principle in order to avoid the demand for truth-makers for talk about the non-present.
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  34. Harold Noonan (2013). Presentism and Eternalism. Erkenntnis 78 (1):219 - 227.score: 18.0
    How is the debate between presentism and eternalism to be characterized? It is usual to suggest that this debate about time is analogous to the debate between the actualist and the possibilist about modality. I think that this suggestion is right. In what follows I pursue the analogy more strictly than is usual and offer a characterization of what is at the core of the dispute between presentists and eternalists that may be immune to worries often raised about the (...)
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  35. Jiri Benovsky (2009). Presentism and Persistence. Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 90 (3):291-309.score: 18.0
    In this paper, I examine various theories of persistence through time under presentism. In Part I, I argue that both perdurantist views (namely, the worm view and the stage view) suffer, in combination with presentism, from serious difficulties and should be rejected. In Part II, I discuss the presentist endurantist view, to see that it does avoid the difficulties of the perdurantist views, and consequently that it does work, but at a price that some may consider as being (...)
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  36. Craig Bourne (2006). A Theory of Presentism. Canadian Journal of Philosophy 36 (1):1-23.score: 18.0
    Most of us would want to say that it is true that Socrates taught Plato. According to realists about past facts,1 this is made true by the fact that there is, located in the past, i.e., earlier than now, at least one real event that is the teaching of Plato by Socrates. Presentists, however, in denying that past events and facts exist2 cannot appeal to such facts to make their past-tensed statements true. So what is a presentist to do?
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  37. Yuri Balashov & Michel Janssen (2003). Presentism and Relativity. [REVIEW] British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 54 (2):327-346.score: 18.0
    In this critical notice we argue against William Craig's recent attempt to reconcile presentism (roughly, the view that only the present is real) with relativity theory. Craig's defense of his position boils down to endorsing a ‘neo-Lorentzian interpretation’ of special relativity. We contend that his reconstruction of Lorentz's theory and its historical development is fatally flawed and that his arguments for reviving this theory fail on many counts. 1 Rival theories of time 2 Relativity and the present 3 Special (...)
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  38. Michael C. Rea (2006). Presentism and Fatalism. Australasian Journal of Philosophy 84 (4):511 – 524.score: 18.0
    It is widely believed that presentism is compatible with both a libertarian view of human freedom and an unrestricted principle of bivalence. I argue that, in fact, presentists must choose between bivalence and libertarianism: if presentism is true, then either the future is open or no one is free in the way that libertarians understand freedom.
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  39. Jonathan Tallant (2010). A Sketch of a Presentist Theory of Passage. Erkenntnis 73 (1):133-140.score: 18.0
    In this paper I look to develop a defence of “presentist temporal passage” that renders presentism immune from recent arguments due to Eric Olson. During the course of the paper, I also offer comment on a recent reply to Olson’s argument due to Ian Phillips. I argue that it is not clear that Phillips’ arguments succeed.
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  40. H. Scott Hestevold (2008). Presentism: Through Thick and Thin. Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 89 (3):325-347.score: 18.0
    Abstract: Presentism is the view that whatever exists presently exists. Without defending Presentism, I argue first that Presentists should be Time-Free Presentists – Presentists whose views do not imply that there exist irreducible times. Second, I argue that Presentists should accept Limited Thick Presentism, the view that 'the present' has some extension and is thereby neither durationlessly thin nor unlimitedly 'thick'. Third, before addressing several objections to Limited Time-Free Thick Presentism [LTFTP], I argue that defenders of (...)
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  41. Theodore Sider (1999). Presentism and Ontological Commitment. Journal of Philosophy 96 (7):325-347.score: 18.0
    Presentism is the doctrine that only the present is real. Since ordinary talk and thought are full of quantification over non-present objects, presentists are in a familiar predicament: in their unreflective moments they apparently commit themselves to far more than their ontological scruples allow. A familiar response is to begin a project of paraphrase. Truths appearing to quantify over problematic entities are shown, on analysis, to not involve quantification over those entities after all. But I think that we might (...)
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  42. Matthew Davidson (2003). Presentism and the Non-Present. Philosophical Studies 113 (1):77 - 92.score: 18.0
    In this paper I argue that presentism has a problem accounting forthe truth of statements whose truth conditions seem to require therebe relations that hold between present and non-present objects. Imotivate the problem and then examine several strategies for dealingwith the problem. I argue that no solution is forthcoming, and thispresents a prima facie problem for presentism.
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  43. Craig Bourne (2006). A Future for Presentism. Oxford University Press.score: 18.0
    How can we talk meaningfully about the past if it does not exist to be talked about? What gives time its direction? Is time travel possible? This defence of presentism - the view that only the present exists - makes an original contribution to a fast growing and exciting debate.
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  44. Brian Kierland & Bradley Monton (2007). Presentism and the Objection From Being-Supervenience. Australasian Journal of Philosophy 85 (3):485-497.score: 18.0
    In this paper, we show that presentism?the view that the way things are is the way things presently are?is not undermined by the objection from being-supervenience. This objection claims, roughly, that presentism has trouble accounting for the truth-value of past-tense claims. Our demonstration amounts to the articulation and defence of a novel version of presentism. This is brute past presentism, according to which the truth-value of past-tense claims is determined by the past understood as a fundamental (...)
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  45. Bradley Monton (2006). Presentism and Quantum Gravity. In Dennis Dieks (ed.), The Ontology of Spacetime.score: 18.0
    There is a philosophical tradition of arguing against presentism, the thesis that only presently existing things exist, on the basis of its incompatibility with fundamental physics. I grant that presentism is incompatible with special and general relativity, but argue that presentism is not incompatible with quantum gravity, because there are some theories of quantum gravity that utilize a fixed foliation of spacetime. I reply to various objections to this defense of presentism, and point out a flaw (...)
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  46. Joseph Diekemper (2005). Presentism and Ontological Symmetry. Australasian Journal of Philosophy 83 (2):223 – 240.score: 18.0
    In this paper, I argue that there is an inconsistency between two presentist doctrines: that of ontological symmetry and asymmetry of fixity. The former refers to the presentist belief that the past and future are equally unreal. The latter refers to the A-Theoretic intuition that the past is closed or actual, and the future is open or potential. My position in this paper is that the presentist is unable to account for the temporal asymmetry that is so fundamentally a part (...)
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  47. Jonathan Tallant & David Ingram (2012). Presentism and Distributional Properties. In Karen Bennett & Dean Zimmerman (eds.), Oxford Studies in Metaphysics, Vol. 7. Oxford University Press.score: 18.0
    Ross Cameron proposes to reconcile presentism and truth-maker theory by invoking temporal distributional properties, instantiated by present entities, as the truth-makers for truths about the past. This chapter argues that Cameron's proposal fails because objects can change which temporal distributional properties they instantiate and this entails that the truth-values of truths about the past can change in an objectionable way.
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  48. Jeffrey Grupp (2005). The Impossibility of Temporal Relations Between Non-Identical Times: New Arguments for Presentism. Disputatio 1 (18):1-35.score: 18.0
    I argue that relations between non-identical times, such as the relations, earlier than, later than, or 10 seconds apart, involve contradiction, and only co-temporal relations are non-contradictory, which would leave presentism the only non-contradictory theory of time. The arguments I present are arguments that I have not seen in the literature.
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  49. Torrengo Giuliano (forthcoming). The Grounding Problem and Presentist Explanations. Synthese.score: 18.0
    Opponents of presentism have often argued that the presentist has difficulty in accounting for what makes (presently) true past-tensed propositions (TptP) true in a way that is compatible with her metaphysical view of time and reality. The problem is quite general and concerns not only strong truth-maker principles, but also the requirement that truth be grounded in reality. In order to meet the challenge, presentists have proposed many peculiar present aspects of the world as grounds for truths concerning the (...)
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