Temporal Ersatzism and Relativity

Australasian Journal of Philosophy 99 (3):490-503 (2021)


ABSTRACT Temporal eliminativism is the view that the present is privileged because past and future entities do not exist. Temporal ersatzism is the view that the present is privileged because, although past and future entities exist, they are not concrete. I argue that shifting from temporal eliminativism to temporal ersatzism can help to address objections to the former theory that are due to relativity theory—but only if temporal ersatzism is understood in a fairly specific way and only in so far as the temporal ersatzist is willing to take on some prima facie surprising commitments. I close by showing how the claims that I make with respect to temporal ersatzism generalise to other theories of time on which the present is privileged, including McDaniel’s [2018] presentist existential pluralism.

Download options


    Upload a copy of this work     Papers currently archived: 72,660

External links

Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server

Through your library


Added to PP

73 (#161,225)

6 months
13 (#60,400)

Historical graph of downloads
How can I increase my downloads?

Similar books and articles

Temporal Ersatzism.Nina Emery - 2017 - Philosophy Compass 12 (9):e12441.
Bring Back the Magic.By Kevin Zaragoza - 2007 - Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 88 (3):391–402.
Times as Abstractions.Ulrich Meyer - 2011 - In Adrian Bardon (ed.), The Future of the Philosophy of Time. Routledge. pp. 41--55.
Something Less Than Paradise: The Magic of Modal Realism.Michael Hymers - 1991 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 69 (3):251 – 263.
Times in Tense Logic.Ulrich Meyer - 2009 - Notre Dame Journal of Formal Logic 50 (2):201--19.
The Nature of Time, by Ulrich Meyer.Steven Savitt - 2015 - Mind 124 (495):945-951.
In Defence of Magical Ersatzism.David A. Denby - 2006 - Philosophical Quarterly 56 (223):161–174.
Relativity Theory Refounded.Diederik Aerts - 2018 - Foundations of Science 23 (3):511-547.
On Emily Paul on Brian Leftow.Matthew James Collier - 2019 - TheoLogica: An International Journal for Philosophy of Religion and Philosophical Theology 3 (2):140-151.

Author's Profile

Nina Emery
Mount Holyoke College

References found in this work

Four Dimensionalism.Theodore Sider - 1997 - Philosophical Review 106 (2):197-231.
The Fragmentation of Being.Kris McDaniel - 2017 - Oxford University Press.
A Future for Presentism.Craig Bourne - 2006 - Oxford University Press UK.
Relativity and the Causal Efficacy of Abstract Objects.Tim Juvshik - 2020 - American Philosophical Quarterly 57 (3).
The Nature of Time.Ulrich Meyer - 2013 - Clarendon Press.

View all 7 references / Add more references

Citations of this work

Time.Ned Markosian - 2010 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.

Add more citations