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Summary One of the central debates in the philosophy of time is between the A-theorists and the B-theorists. These unhelpful labels can be traced back to John McTaggart's distinction between the A-series and the B-series. The A-theory of time is typically associated with the idea that the present is metaphysically privileged or singled out in some way from past and future times. Furthermore, there is genuine flow of time as past events recede further and further into the past and future events move closer and closer to the present. The A-theorist holds that the properties of being past, being present and being future are fundamental to the nature of time. Presentism, the Growing Block Theory, and the Moving Spotlight Theory are all versions of the A-theory, providing different accounts of how the present is metaphysically distinguished. The B-theory of time, in contrast, denies that the present is metaphysically privileged over past and future times. Just as there is nothing metaphysically special about, say, London as opposed to Sydney, the B-theorist maintains that there is nothing metaphysically special about the present moment as opposed to, say, the year 1847 or 2157. 
Key works McTaggart introduces the A-series and the B-series in McTaggart 1908. Arthur Prior is one of the most important and influential A-theorists (see Prior 1968 and Prior 1967). Ned Markosian has done a great deal in formulating and defending the A-theory.  See his Markosian 1993 for one such defense. Dean Zimmerman provides an illuminating discussion of drawing the A-theory-B-theory distinction in Zimmerman 2005.
Introductions For good introductions to the A-theory of time, see Markosian 2010 and Zimmerman 2007
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  1. Two-Dimensional Time.Michael Kowalik - manuscript
    Philosophical views about the logical structure of time are typically divided between proponents of A and B theories, based on McTaggart's A and B series. Drawing on Paul Ricoeur's hermeneutic phenomenology, I develop and defend McTaggart's thesis that the C series and the A series working together give a consistent description of temporal experience, provided that the two series are treated as distinct dimensions internal to time. In the proposed two-dimensional model, the C series expresses a nesting order of the (...)
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  2. Schrodinger's Cat Meets McTaggart and the Problem of Other Minds.Paul Merriam - manuscript
    This paper proposes an interpretation of time that is an 'A-theory' in that it incorporates both McTaggart's A-series and his B-series. The A-series characteristics are supposed to be 'ontologically private' analogous to qualia in the problem of other minds and is given a definition. The main idea is that the experimenter and the cat do not share the same A-series characteristics, e.g the same 'now'. So there is no single time at which the cat gets ascribed different states. It is (...)
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  3. Towards an AB-Series Interpretation of Time in Physics.Paul Merriam - manuscript
    How can McTaggart's A-series notion of time be incorporated into physics while retaining the B-series notion? It may be the A-series 'now' can be construed as ontologically private. How is that modeled? Could a definition of a combined AB-series entropy help with the Past Hypothesis problem? What if the increase in entropy as a system goes from earlier times to later times is canceled by the decrease in entropy as a system goes from future, to present, to past?
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  4. From McTaggart to AdS_5 Geometry 2.Paul Merriam - manuscript
    The purpose of this note is to show how an 'AB-series' interpretation of time, given in a companion paper, leads, surprisingly, to AdS_5 geometry. This is not a theory of 2 time dimensions. Rather, it is a theory of 1 time dimension that has both A-series and B-series characteristics.
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  5. Time Flows at 1 B-Second Per A-Second.Paul Merriam - manuscript
    I suggest time flows at 1 B-series second per A-series second.
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  6. Hybrid Time Physics.Paul Merriam - manuscript
    I accept that McTaggart's A-series and B-series are not inter-reducible and that both are needed for a complete temporal description of a physical system. I consider the Wigner's Friend thought experiment. The A-series are associated with each (quantum) system, and relativity is associated with the B-series. I consider temporal evolution through this 'hybrid' time. We may define the rate of temporal flow as 1 B-series second per A-series second.
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  7. The Temporal Knowledge Argument 2.Paul Merriam - manuscript
    How does the temporal knowledge argument fair when exposed to Chalmers' 2-dimensional analysis of the knowledge argument?
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  8. McTaggart Saves Schrodinger's Cat?Paul Merriam - manuscript
    This paper proposes an interpretation of time that is an 'A-theory' in that it incorporates both McTaggart's A-series and his B-series. The A-series characteristics are supposed to be 'ontologically private' analogous to qualia in the Inverted Spectrum thought experiment and is given a definition. The main idea is that the experimenter and the cat do not share the same A-series characteristics. So there is no single time at which the cat gets ascribed different states. It is proposed one may define (...)
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  9. Notes 2 A Theory of Time 6 7 2019.Paul Merriam - manuscript
    A theory of time was proposed in "A theory of time", an early version of which is on PhilPapers. The idea was that the A-series features of a physical system are ontologically private, and this was given a mathematical definition. Also B-series features are ontologically public. This brief note is a detailed rumination on path-integrals and Schrodinger's Cat, in this theory.
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  10. The Law of Conservation of Time and Its Applications.Ninh Khac Son - manuscript
    Time is a complex category not only in philosophy but also in mathematics and physics. In one thought about time, the author accidentally discovered a new way to explain and solve problems related to time dilation, such as solving the problem of Muon particle when moving from a height of 10 km to the earth’s surface, while the Muon’s lifespan is only 2.2 microseconds, or explaining Michelson-Morley experiment using the new method. In addition, the author also prove that the speed (...)
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  11. Time, Metaphysics Of.Natalja Deng - forthcoming - Routledge Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
    Metaphysics is the part of philosophy that asks questions about the nature of reality – about what there is, and what it is like. The metaphysics of time is the part of the philosophy of time that asks questions about the nature of temporal reality. One central such question is that of whether time passes or flows, or whether it has a dynamic aspect.
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  12. Does the Temporal Asymmetry of Value Support a Tensed Metaphysics?Alison Fernandes - forthcoming - Synthese:1-18.
    There are temporal asymmetries in our attitudes towards the past and future. For example, we judge that a given amount of work is worth twice as much if it is described as taking place in the future, compared to the past :796–801, 2008). Does this temporal value asymmetry support a tensed metaphysics? By getting clear on the asymmetry’s features, I’ll argue that it doesn’t. To support a tensed metaphysics, the value asymmetry would need to not vary with temporal distance, apply (...)
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  13. Measuring the Present: What is the Duration of ‘Now’?Brittany A. Gentry - forthcoming - Synthese:1-15.
    Presentists argue that only the present is real. In this paper, I ask what duration the present has on a presentist’s account. While several answers are available, each of them requires the adoption of a measure and, with that adoption, additional work must be done to define the present. Whether presentists conclude that a reductionist account of duration is acceptable, that duration is not an applicable concept for their notion of the present, that the present has a duration of zero, (...)
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  14. Fragmenting Reality: On Fragmentalism, Time, and Modality.Samuele Iaquinto & Giuliano Torrengo - forthcoming - London: Bloomsbury.
    The core objective of this monograph is to present and discuss in detail an extensive interpretation of fragmentalism. Building on previously published works on the topic, we aim to offer a full-range exploration of the applications of fragmentalism to the main metaphysical areas of research. The book will cover mainly the topic of time and modality, but we will also highlight interesting bearings with respect to personal identity and responsibility, the relation between the self and one’s perspective on reality, and (...)
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  15. Do the Folk Represent Time as Essentially Dynamical?Andrew James Latham, Kristie Miller & James Norton - forthcoming - Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy.
    Recent research (Latham, Miller and Norton, forthcoming) reveals that a majority of people represent actual time as dynamical. But do they, as suggested by McTaggart and Gödel, represent time as essentially dynamical? This paper distinguishes three interrelated questions. We ask (a) whether the folk representation of time is sensitive or insensitive: i.e., does what satisfies the folk representation of time in counterfactual worlds depend on what satisfies it actually—sensitive—or does is not depend on what satisfies it actually—insensitive, and (b) do (...)
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  16. Philosophy of Time A Contemporary Introduction.Sean Enda Power - forthcoming - Routledge.
    As a growing area of research, the philosophy of time is increasingly relevant to different areas of philosophy and even other disciplines. This book describes and evaluates the most important debates in philosophy of time, under several subject areas: metaphysics, epistemology, physics, philosophy of language, philosophy of mind, cognitive science, rationality, and art. -/- Questions this book investigates include: Can we know what time really is? Is time possible, especially given modern physics? Must there be time because we cannot think (...)
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  17. Exploring People’s Beliefs About the Experience of Time.Jack Shardlow, Ruth Lee, Christoph Hoerl, Teresa McCormack, Patrick Burns & Alison S. Fernandes - forthcoming - Synthese:1-23.
    Philosophical debates about the metaphysics of time typically revolve around two contrasting views of time. On the A-theory, time is something that itself undergoes change, as captured by the idea of the passage of time; on the B-theory, all there is to time is events standing in before/after or simultaneity relations to each other, and these temporal relations are unchanging. Philosophers typically regard the A-theory as being supported by our experience of time, and they take it that the B-theory clashes (...)
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  18. The Growing Block and What Was Once Present.Peter Tan - forthcoming - Erkenntnis:1-22.
    According to the growing block ontology of time, there exist past and present objects and events, but no future objects or events. The growing block is made attractive not just because of the attractiveness of its ontological basis for past-tensed truths, the past’s fixity, and future’s openness, but by underlying principles about the right way to fill in this sort of ontology. I shall argue that given these underlying views about the connection between truth and ontology, growing blockers incur an (...)
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  19. Dynamic Absolutism and Qualitative Change.Bahadır Eker - 2021 - Philosophical Studies 178 (1):281-291.
    According to Fine’s famous take on the infamous McTaggartian paradox, realism about tensed facts is incompatible with the joint acceptence of three very general and seemingly plausible theses about reality. However, Correia and Rosenkranz have recently objected that Fine’s argument depends on a crucial assumption about the nature of tensed facts; once that assumption is given up, they claim, realists can endorse the theses in question without further ado. They also argue that their novel version of tense realism, called dynamic (...)
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  20. A Song Turned Sideways Would Sound as Sweet.Zachary Ferguson - 2021 - Analysis 81 (1):14-18.
    Markosian presents an argument against certain theories of time based on the aesthetic value of music. He argues that turning a piece of music sideways in time destroys its intrinsic value, which would not be possible if the Spacetime Thesis were true. In this paper I show that sideways music poses no problems for any theory of time by demonstrating that turning a piece of music sideways does not affect its intrinsic value. I do this by appealing to spatial analogies (...)
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  21. Can time flow at different rates? The differential passage of A-ness.Kristie Miller & James Norton - 2021 - Philosophical Studies 178 (1):255-280.
    According to the No Alternate Possibilities argument, if time passes then the rate at which it passes could be different but time cannot pass at different rates, and hence time cannot pass. Typically, defenders of the NAP argument have focussed on defending premise, and have taken the truth of for granted: they accept the orthodox view of rate necessitarianism. In this paper we argue that the defender of the NAP argument needs to turn her attention to. We describe a series (...)
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  22. If Time Can Pass, Time Can Pass at Different Rates.Kristie Miller & James Norton - 2021 - Analytic Philosophy 62 (1):21-32.
    Analytic Philosophy, Volume 62, Issue 1, Page 21-32, March 2021.
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  23. Unfreezing the Spotlight: Tense Realism and Temporal Passage.Fabrice Correia & Sven Rosenkranz - 2020 - Analysis 80 (1):21-30.
    Realism about tense is the view that the contrast between what was, what is and what will be the case is real, and not merely a projection of our ways of thinking. Does this view entail realism about temporal passage, namely the view that time really passes, in the same sense of ‘real’? We argue that the answer is affirmative for many versions of tense realism, and indeed for all sensible versions. We thereby address an important conceptual issue regarding these (...)
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  24. Diamonds Are Forever.Cian Dorr & Jeremy Goodman - 2020 - Noûs 54 (3):632-665.
    We defend the thesis that every necessarily true proposition is always true. Since not every proposition that is always true is necessarily true, our thesis is at odds with theories of modality and time, such as those of Kit Fine and David Kaplan, which posit a fundamental symmetry between modal and tense operators. According to such theories, just as it is a contingent matter what is true at a given time, it is likewise a temporary matter what is true at (...)
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  25. Explaining Temporal Qualia.Matt Farr - 2020 - European Journal for Philosophy of Science 10 (1):1-24.
    Experiences of motion and change are widely taken to have a ‘flow-like’ quality. Call this ‘temporal qualia’. Temporal qualia are commonly thought to be central to the question of whether time objectively passes: (1) passage realists take temporal passage to be necessary in order for us to have the temporal qualia we do; (2) passage antirealists typically concede that time appears to pass, as though our temporal qualia falsely represent time as passing. I reject both claims and make the case (...)
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  26. Modal Fragmentalism.Samuele Iaquinto - 2020 - The Philosophical Quarterly 70 (280):570-587.
    In this paper, I will argue that there is a version of possibilism—inspired by the modal analogue of Kit Fine’s fragmentalism—that can be combined with a weakening of actualism. The reasons for analysing this view, which I call Modal Fragmentalism, are twofold. Firstly, it can enrich our understanding of the actualism/possibilism divide, by showing that, at least in principle, the adoption of possibilia does not correspond to an outright rejection of the actualist intuitions. Secondly, and more specifically, it can enrich (...)
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  27. Is the world a heap of quantum fragments?Samuele Iaquinto & Claudio Calosi - 2020 - Philosophical Studies 178 (6):2009-2019.
    Fragmentalism was originally introduced as a new A-theory of time. It was further refined and discussed, and different developments of the original insight have been proposed. In a celebrated paper, Jonathan Simon contends that fragmentalism delivers a new realist account of the quantum state—which he calls conservative realism—according to which: the quantum state is a complete description of a physical system, the quantum state is grounded in its terms, and the superposition terms are themselves grounded in local goings-on about the (...)
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  28. McTaggart on the Unreality of Time: Boghossian's Argument against Error-Theory.Ali Hossein Khani & Saeedeh Shahmir - 2020 - Zehn 81:91-115.
    McTaggart, in his famous paper, “The Unreality of Time” (1908), argues in favor of the sceptical claim that time is unreal. His main argument is based on detecting a paradox in our ordinary descriptions of time or events occurring in time. Based on our common sense conception of time, time and the events happening in it can be described in two ways: either as having the properties of “being past”, “being present” and “being future”, or as having the properties of (...)
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  29. Being Pessimistic About the Objective Present.Derek Lam - 2020 - Synthese:1-16.
    Some philosophers argue that non-presentist A-theories problematically imply that we cannot know that this moment is present. The problem is usually presented as arising from the combination of the A-theoretic ideology of a privileged presentness and a non-presentist ontology. The goal of this essay is to show that the epistemic problem can be rephrased as a pessimistic induction. By doing so, I will show that the epistemic problem, in fact, stems from the A-theoretic ideology alone. Hence, once it is properly (...)
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  30. Temporal Phenomenology: Phenomenological Illusion Versus Cognitive Error.Kristie Miller, Alex Holcombe & Andrew James Latham - 2020 - Synthese 197 (2):751-771.
    Temporal non-dynamists hold that there is no temporal passage, but concede that many of us judge that it seems as though time passes. Phenomenal Illusionists suppose that things do seem this way, even though things are not this way. They attempt to explain how it is that we are subject to a pervasive phenomenal illusion. More recently, Cognitive Error Theorists have argued that our experiences do not seem that way; rather, we are subject to an error that leads us mistakenly (...)
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  31. Time Will Tell: An Interview with Kristie Miller.Christina Rawls & Kristie Miller - 2020 - Blog of the APA.
  32. The Invisible Thin Red Line.Giuliano Torrengo & Samuele Iaquinto - 2020 - Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 101:354-382.
    The aim of this paper is to argue that the adoption of an unrestricted principle of bivalence is compatible with a metaphysics that (i) denies that the future is real, (ii) adopts nomological indeterminism, and (iii) exploits a branching structure to provide a semantics for future contingent claims. To this end, we elaborate what we call Flow Fragmentalism, a view inspired by Kit Fine (2005)’s non-standard tense realism, according to which reality is divided up into maximally coherent collections of tensed (...)
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  33. Fragmentalist Presentist Perdurantism.Samuele Iaquinto - 2019 - Philosophia 47 (3):693-703.
    Perdurantists think of continuants as mereological sums of stages from different times. This view of persistence would force us to drop the idea that there is genuine change in the world. By exploiting a presentist metaphysics, Brogaard proposed a theory, called presentist four-dimensionalism, that aims to reconcile perdurantism with the idea that things undergo real change. However, her proposal commits us to reject the idea that stages must exist in their entirety. Giving up the tenet that all the stages are (...)
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  34. Thisness Presentism: An Essay on Time, Truth, and Ontology.David Ingram - 2019 - Oxford, UK: Routledge.
    Thisness Presentism outlines and defends a novel version of presentism, the view that only present entities exist and what is present really changes. Presentism is a view of time that captures a real and objective difference between what is past, present, and future, and which offers a model of reality that is dynamic and mutable, rather than static and immutable. The book advances a new defence of presentism by developing a novel ontology of thisness, combining insights about the nature of (...)
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  35. Sideways Music.Ned Markosian - 2019 - Analysis (1):anz039.
    There is a popular theory in the metaphysics of time according to which time is one of four similar dimensions that make up a single manifold that is appropriately called spacetime. One consequence of this thesis is that changing an object’s orientation in the manifold does not change its intrinsic features. In this paper I offer a new argument against this popular theory. I claim that an especially good performance of a particularly beautiful piece of music, when oriented within the (...)
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  36. The Cresting Wave: A New Moving Spotlight Theory.Kristie Miller - 2019 - Canadian Journal of Philosophy 49 (1):94-122.
    One argument for the moving spotlight theory is that it better explains certain aspects of our temporal phenomenology than does any static theory of time. Call this the argument from passage phenomenology. In this paper it is argued that insofar as moving spotlight theorists take this to be a sound argument they ought embrace a new version of the moving spotlight theory according to which the moving spotlight is a cresting wave of causal efficacy. On this view it is more (...)
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  37. If Time Can Pass, Time Can Pass at Different Rates.Kristie Miller & James Norton - 2019 - Analytic Philosophy (1):21-32.
    According to the No Alternate Possibilities argument, if time passes then the rate at which it passes could be different. Thus, time cannot pass, since if time passes, then necessarily it passes at a rate of 1 second per second. One response to this argument is to posit hypertime, and to argue that at different worlds, time passes at different rates when measured against hypertime. Since many A-theorists think we can make sense of temporal passage without positing hypertime, we pursue (...)
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  38. Time Series and Non-Reductive Physicalism.Matias Kimi Slavov - 2019 - KronoScope: Journal for the Study of Time 19 (1):25-38.
    McTaggart famously introduced the A- and B-series as rival metaphysical accounts of time. This paper shall reorient the debate over the original distinction. Instead of treating the series as competing theories about the nature of time, it will be argued that they are different viewpoints on a world that is fundamentally physical. To that end, non-reductive physicalism is proposed to reconcile the series.
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  39. Flow Fragmentalism.Giuliano Torrengo & Samuele Iaquinto - 2019 - Theoria 85 (3):185-201.
    In this paper, we articulate a version of non-standard A-theory – which we call Flow Fragmentalism – in relation to its take on the issue of supervenience of truth on being. According to the Truth Supervenes on Being (TSB) Principle, the truth of past- and future-tensed propositions supervenes, respectively, on past and future facts. Since the standard presentist denies the existence of past and future entities and facts concerning them that do not obtain in the present, she seems to lack (...)
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  40. Tense and Relativity.Andrew Bacon - 2018 - Noûs 52 (3):667-696.
    Those inclined to positions in the philosophy of time that take tense seriously have typically assumed that not all regions of space-time are equal: one special region of space-time corresponds to what is presently happening. When combined with assumptions from modern physics this has the unsettling consequence that the shape of this favored region distinguishes people in certain places or people traveling at certain velocities. In this paper I shall attempt to avoid this result by developing a tensed picture of (...)
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  41. Time, Physics, and Philosophy: It’s All Relative.Sam Baron - 2018 - Philosophy Compass 13 (1):e12466.
    This article provides a non-technical overview of the conflict between the special theory of relativity and the dynamic theories of time. The chief argument against dynamic theories of time from relativistic mechanics is presented. The space of current responses to that argument is subsequently mapped.
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  42. An Introduction to the Philosophy of Time.Sam Baron & Kristie Miller - 2018 - Cambridge: Polity Press.
    Time is woven into the fabric of our lives. Everything we do, we do in and across time. It is not just that our lives are stretched out in time, from the moment of birth to the moment of our death. It is that our lives are stories. We make sense of ourselves, today, by understanding who we were yesterday, and the day before, and the day before that; by understanding what we did and why we did it. Our memories (...)
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  43. Turning the Tables on McTaggart.Emiliano Boccardi - 2018 - Philosophy (3):1-16.
    According to A-theories of time, the metaphysical ground of change and dynamicity is provided by a continuous shifting in which events are past, present and future (A-determinations). It is often claimed that these theories make better sense of our experience of dynamicity than their rival, the B-theories; according to the latter, dynamicity is grounded solely in the irreducible earlier-than relations (B-relations) which obtain between events or states of affairs. In this paper, I argue that the experience of time's dynamicity, on (...)
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  44. Time as Motion.Emiliano Boccardi - 2018 - Metaphysica 19 (1):1-31.
    The arena of the philosophy of time has been largely concerned with deciding whether tense distinctions reflect absolute metaphysical distinctions or not. After bringing the debate over the metaphysical status of instantaneous velocity to bear on the debate over the nature of temporal passage, I argue that we should further investigate whether aspectual distinctions reflect objective and absolute metaphysical distinctions too. I conclude that those who think that being realist about tense uniquely makes room for the idea that time passes (...)
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  45. The Delusive Illusion of Passage.Emiliano Boccardi & Federico Perelda - 2018 - Analysis 78 (3):387-396.
    We argue that the view that we misperceive time as passing is self-undermining.
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  46. The Unique Groundability of Temporal Facts.John Cusbert & Kristie Miller - 2018 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 97 (2):410-432.
    The A-theory and the B-theory advance competing claims about how time is grounded. The A-theory says that A-facts are more fundamental in grounding time than are B-facts, and the B-theory says the reverse. We argue that whichever theory is true of the actual world is also true of all possible worlds containing time. We do this by arguing that time is uniquely groundable: however time is actually grounded, it is necessarily grounded in that way. It follows that if either the (...)
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  47. Philosophical Arguments Against the A-Theory.Daniel Deasy - 2018 - Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 99 (2):270-292.
    According to the A-theory of time some instant of time is absolutely present. Many reject the A-theory on the grounds that it is inconsistent with current spacetime physics, which appears to leave no room for absolute presentness. However, some reject the A-theory on purely philosophical grounds. In this article I describe three purely philosophical arguments against the A-theory and show that there are plausible A-theoretic responses to each of them. I conclude that, whatever else is wrong with the A-theory, it (...)
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  48. Imprints in Time: Towards a Moderately Robust Past.Michael Longenecker - 2018 - Philosophical Studies 175 (10):2429-2446.
    Presentism says that only present objects exist. But the view has trouble grounding past-tensed truths like “dinosaurs existed”. Standard Eternalism grounds those truths by positing the existence of past objects—like dinosaurs. But Standard Eternalism conflicts with the intuition that there is genuine change—the intuition that there once were dinosaurs and no longer are any. I offer a novel theory of time—‘The Imprint’—that does a better job preserving both the grounding and genuine change intuitions. The Imprint says that the past and (...)
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  49. Fine's Trilemma and the Reality of Tensed Facts.Roberto Loss - 2018 - Thought: A Journal of Philosophy 7 (3):209-217.
    Fine (2005, 2006) has presented a ‘trilemma’ concerning the tense-realist idea that reality is constituted by tensed facts. According to Fine, there are only three ways out of the trilemma, consisting in what he takes to be the three main families of tense-realism: ‘presentism’, ‘(external) relativism’, and ‘fragmentalism’. Importantly, although Fine characterises tense-realism as the thesis that reality is constituted (at least in part) by tensed facts, he explicitly claims that tense realists are not committed to their fundamental existence. Recently, (...)
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  50. Experiencing Time. [REVIEW]Kourken Michaelian - 2018 - Philosophical Quarterly 68 (272):642-644.