Philosophia 43 (4):1089-1109 (2015)

Presentism is usually understood as the thesis that only the present exists whereas the rival theory of eternalism is usually understood as the thesis that past, present, and future things are all equally real. The significance of this debate has been threatened by the so-called triviality objection, which allegedly shows that the presentist thesis is either trivially true or obviously false: Presentism is trivially true if it is read as saying that everything that exists now is present, and it is obviously false if read as saying that everything that has existed, exits or will exist is present. If eternalism is taken as the negation of presentism, it is also either trivially false or obviously true. In this paper, I try to respond to the triviality objection on behalf of presentism. In second section, I will examine how the argument proceeds. In third section, I will reflect on three possible ways to respond but will argue that none of them succeeds in giving a satisfactory solution. I will then try to clarify the core idea of presentism and to suggest that if we characterise presentism accurately, the problem will disappear. In fourth section, I will offer a plausible definition of presentism and will show how it can avoid the triviality objection and demonstrate why it is advantageous to accept the version of presentism I offer
Keywords Presentism  Eternalism  The triviality objection  Existence  Property possession  Change
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DOI 10.1007/s11406-015-9648-9
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References found in this work BETA

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Citations of this work BETA

The Triviality Argument Against Presentism.Daniel Deasy - 2019 - Synthese 196 (8):3369-3388.
What is Temporal Ontology?Natalja Deng - 2018 - Philosophical Studies 175 (3):793-807.
The Rotten Core of Presentism.Jonathan Tallant & David Ingram - 2021 - Synthese 199 (1-2):3969-3991.
Characterising Theories of Time and Modality.Daniel Deasy - 2019 - Analytic Philosophy 60 (3):283-305.

View all 6 citations / Add more citations

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