Actualism, Presentism and the Grounding Objection

Erkenntnis 85 (1):23-43 (2020)
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Abstract

Presentism is the view that only presently existing things exist. Actualism is the view that only actually existing things exist. Although these views have much in common, the position we take with respect to one of them is not usually thought to constrain the position that we may take toward the other. In this paper I argue that this standard attitude deserves further scrutiny. In particular, I argue that the considerations that motivate one common objection to presentism—the grounding objection—threaten to give rise to an analogous grounding objection to actualism. Those who are moved by grounding considerations to give up presentism should either be moved by analogous considerations to give up actualism as well or be prepared to undertake quite a bit of further work in order to defend their position.

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Nina Emery
Mount Holyoke College

Citations of this work

Time.Ned Markosian - 2010 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
The Moodless Theory of Modality: An Introduction and Defence.Bradford Skow - 2022 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 100 (2):279-295.

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References found in this work

Modal Logic as Metaphysics.Timothy Williamson - 2013 - Oxford, England: Oxford University Press.
A World of States of Affairs.D. M. Armstrong - 1997 - Cambridge University Press.
Metaphysical Dependence: Grounding and Reduction.Gideon Rosen - 2010 - In Bob Hale & Aviv Hoffmann (eds.), Modality: Metaphysics, Logic, and Epistemology. Oxford University Press. pp. 109-135.
No Work for a Theory of Grounding.Jessica M. Wilson - 2014 - Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy 57 (5-6):535-579.
On What Grounds What.Jonathan Schaffer - 2009 - In David Manley, David J. Chalmers & Ryan Wasserman (eds.), Metametaphysics: New Essays on the Foundations of Ontology. Oxford University Press. pp. 347-383.

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