Presentism and eternalism in perspective

In Dennis Dieks (ed.), The Ontology of Spacetime I. Amsterdam: Elsevier (2006)
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The distinction between presentism and eternalism is usually sought in some formula like ‘Only presently existing things exist’ or ‘Past, present, and future events are equally real’. I argue that ambiguities in the copula prevent these slogans from distinguishing significant opposed positions. I suggest in addition that one can find a series of significant distinctions if one takes spacetime structure into account. These presentisms and eternalisms are not contradictory. They are complementary elements of a complete naturalistic philosophy of time.


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Steven Savitt
University of British Columbia

Citations of this work

Look at the time!David Builes - 2022 - Analysis 82 (1):15-23.
Newtonian Spacetime Structure in Light of the Equivalence Principle.Eleanor Knox - 2014 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 65 (4):863-880.
The Rotten Core of Presentism.Jonathan Tallant & David Ingram - 2021 - Synthese 199 (1-2):3969-3991.

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