Actualism without Presentism? Not by way of the Relativity Objection

Noûs 53 (4):963-986 (2019)
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Actualism is the view that only actually existing things exist. Presentism is the view that only presently existing things exist. In this paper, I argue that being an actualist without also being a presentist is not as easy as many philosophers seem to think. A common objection to presentism is that there is an unavoidable conflict between presentism and relativity theory. But actualists who do not wish to be presentists cannot point to this relativity objection alone to support their position. Unless they have some antecedent reason for thinking that actualism is more plausible than presentism, anyone who is moved by the relativity objection to give up presentism should be moved by a related objection to give up actualism as well. If there is a reason to be an actualist without also being a presentist, it must go beyond the relativity objection to presentism.



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Nina Emery
Mount Holyoke College

Citations of this work

Time.Ned Markosian - 2010 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
Temporal Ersatzism and Relativity.Nina Emery - 2021 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 99 (3):490-503.

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References found in this work

On the Plurality of Worlds.William G. Lycan - 1988 - Journal of Philosophy 85 (1):42-47.
Four Dimensionalism: An Ontology of Persistence and Time.Theodore Sider - 2004 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 68 (3):642-647.
A Defense of Presentism.Ned Markosian - 2004 - Oxford Studies in Metaphysics 1:47-82.
On the Plurality of Worlds.Allen Stairs - 1988 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 49 (2):333-352.
Time and Physical Geometry.Hilary Putnam - 1967 - Journal of Philosophy 64 (8):240-247.

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