Defining Existence Presentism

Erkenntnis 79 (S3):479-501 (2014)
Jonathan Tallant
Nottingham University
In this paper I argue in favour of a new definition of presentism that I call ‘existence presentism’ (EP). Typically, presentism is defined as the thesis that ‘only present objects exist’, or ‘nothing exists that is non-present’.1 I assume these statements to be equivalent. I call these statements of presentism ‘conventional presentism’ (CP). First, in §2, I rehearse arguments due to Ulrich Meyer that purport to show that presentism is not adequately defined as CP. In §§2.1–2.4 I show that considerations of the sort raised by Meyer infect attempts to define presentism, due to Thomas Crisp, Tom Stoneham, and Theodore Sider. Thus the first half of the paper is constituted by a negative project that looks to show how extant definitions of presentism fail. In the second half of the paper, I continue in the negative theme in §3, before laying out EP and demonstrating that it solves the problems faced by CP and offering explanations of how to make sense of certain key notions that lie at the heart of EP. I conclude that EP is preferable to CP.
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DOI 10.1007/s10670-013-9499-3
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References found in this work BETA

Truth and Truthmakers.D. M. Armstrong - 2004 - Cambridge University Press.
Truth and Ontology.Trenton Merricks - 2007 - Oxford University Press.
A Defense of Presentism.Ned Markosian - 2004 - Oxford Studies in Metaphysics 1 (3):47-82.

View all 33 references / Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

Nefarious Presentism.Jonathan Tallant & David Ingram - 2015 - Philosophical Quarterly 65 (260):355-371.
The Virtues of Thisness Presentism.David Ingram - 2016 - Philosophical Studies 173 (11):2867-2888.
The New A-Theory of Time.Jonathan Tallant - 2015 - Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy 58 (6):537-562.
Presentism Remains.Jonathan Tallant - forthcoming - Erkenntnis:1-27.
Presentism and the Triviality Objection.Takeshi Sakon - 2015 - Philosophia 43 (4):1089-1109.

View all 8 citations / Add more citations

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