International Journal of Philosophical Studies 16 (4):533 – 557 (2008)
In this paper I discuss an unconventional form of presentism which, I claim, captures better than all other versions of the doctrine the fundamental notion underpinning it, namely, the notion that 'only what is present is real'. My proposal is to take this maxim as stating, not the rather uncontroversial view that past things are not real now, but the more radical idea that they never were. This rendition of presentism is, I argue, the only one that is neither trivial nor absurd. I examine this proposal by considering it against a sceptical hypothesis that bears similarities to it, viz., the hypothesis that the world was created five minutes ago. On this hypothesis, the past, all but five minutes of it, is unreal, in precisely the sense in which the presentism I discuss claims it is. I show that, assuming semantic externalism, this sceptical hypothesis cannot be sustained, but that a somewhat weaker hypothesis, the Creationist hypothesis that the world is 5,768 years old, cannot be refuted. Together, these conclusions enable a demarcation of those presentist intuitions that language and thought tolerate and those they do not.
|Keywords||No keywords specified (fix it)|
|Categories||categorize this paper)|
References found in this work BETA
Naming and Necessity.Saul Kripke - 2010 - In Darragh Byrne & Max Kölbel (eds.), Philosophy. Routledge. pp. 431-433.
The Collapse of the Fact/Value Dichotomy and Other Essays.Hilary Putnam - 2002 - Harvard University Press.
Citations of this work BETA
No citations found.
Similar books and articles
Why so Serious? Non-Serious Presentism and the Problem of Cross-Temporal Relations.Ross Inman - 2012 - Metaphysica 13 (1):55-63.
Presentism and Grounding Past Truths.Matthew Davidson - 2013 - In Roberto Ciuni, Giuliano Torrengo & Kristie Miller (eds.), New Papers on the Present: Focus on Presentism. Verlag. pp. 153-172.
Presentism and the Objection From Being-Supervenience.Brian Kierland & Bradley Monton - 2007 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 85 (3):485-497.
Added to index2009-01-28
Total downloads86 ( #59,667 of 2,158,201 )
Recent downloads (6 months)1 ( #356,322 of 2,158,201 )
How can I increase my downloads?