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Daniel Deasy
University College Dublin
  1. The Moving Spotlight Theory.Daniel Deasy - 2015 - Philosophical Studies 172 (8):2073-2089.
    The aim of this paper is to describe and defend the moving spotlight theory of time. I characterise the moving spotlight theory as the conjunction of two theses: permanentism, the thesis that everything exists forever, and the A-theory, the thesis that there is an absolute, objective present time. I begin in Sect. 2 by clearing up some common misconceptions about the moving spotlight theory, focusing on the discussion of the theory in Sider. In doing so, I also fill-out the barebones (...)
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  2. What is Presentism?Daniel Deasy - 2017 - Noûs 51 (2):378-397.
    Different versions of the A-theory of time are traditionally defined in terms of whether everything is present, or whether there are also past and future things. In this paper I argue that the traditional way of defining A-theories should be abandoned. I focus on the traditional definition of presentism, according to which always, everything is present. First, I argue that there are good reasons to reject all the most plausible interpretations of the predicate ‘is present’ as it appears in the (...)
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  3. Philosophical Arguments Against the A-Theory.Daniel Deasy - 2018 - Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 99 (2):270-292.
    According to the A-theory of time some instant of time is absolutely present. Many reject the A-theory on the grounds that it is inconsistent with current spacetime physics, which appears to leave no room for absolute presentness. However, some reject the A-theory on purely philosophical grounds. In this article I describe three purely philosophical arguments against the A-theory and show that there are plausible A-theoretic responses to each of them. I conclude that, whatever else is wrong with the A-theory, it (...)
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  4. The Triviality Argument Against Presentism.Daniel Deasy - 2019 - Synthese 196 (8):3369-3388.
    Presentism is typically characterised as the thesis that everything is present, and therefore there are no dinosaurs or Martian presidential inaugurations. Putting aside the vexed question of exactly what it is to be present in this context, this thesis seems quite straightforward. However, a number of authors—such as Merricks, Lombard, Meyer, Tallant and Sakon —have argued that Presentism so characterised is either trivially true or false even by Presentist lights. This is the so-called Triviality Argument against Presentism. In this paper (...)
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  5.  43
    Hazardous Conditions Persist.Daniel Deasy & Jonathan Tallant - forthcoming - Erkenntnis:1-24.
    Some theories in the philosophy of time combine a commitment to the existence of non-present regions of spacetime with the view that there is a perspective-independent present time. We call such theories 4D A-theories. There is a well-known objection to 4D A-theories, as follows: 4D A-theories entail that the vast majority of subjects across time believe falsely that they are present. But if the vast majority of subjects across time believe falsely that they are present, we do not know that (...)
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  6. Advanced Temporalising.Daniel Deasy - 2021 - In Karen Bennett & Dean Zimmerman (eds.), Oxford Studies in Metaphysics Vol.12. Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press.
    There is a widespread assumption that B-theorists (according to whom there is nothing metaphysically special about the present moment in virtue of which it is present) should interpret the standard tense operators (‘it was the case that’, ‘it will be the case that’) as implicit quantifier-restrictors – so that, for example, an utterance at instant t of the sentence ‘It was the case that there are dinosaurs’ is true just in case there are dinosaurs located at some instant t* earlier (...)
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  7. Characterising Theories of Time and Modality.Daniel Deasy - 2019 - Analytic Philosophy 60 (3):283-305.
    Recently, some authors – call them Reformists – have argued that the traditional Presentism-Eternalism and Actualism-Possibilism debates in the metaphysics of time and modality respectively are unclear or insubstantial, and should therefore give way to the newer Temporaryism-Permanentism and Contingentism- Necessitism debates. In ‘On characterising the presentism/eternalism and actualism/possibilism debates’ (2016, Analytic Philosophy 57: 110-140), Ross Cameron defends the Conservative position that the traditional debates are both substantial and distinct from the Temporaryism-Permanentism and Contingentism- Necessitism debates. In this paper I (...)
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  8. The Modal Moving Spotlight Theory.Daniel Deasy - forthcoming - Mind.
    The Moving Spotlight Theory (MST) combines three theses: first, that there is an absolute present time; second, that always, everything exists eternally; and third, that exactly one fundamental property is temporary. In this paper, I argue that MST so defined can be combined with a reductive analysis of the tense operators (i.e. properties of propositions like being past), which I call the 'Modal Analysis'. According to the Modal Analysis, for it to be the case that at a time t, p (...)
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  9. Presentism and times as propositions.Luca Banfi & Daniel Deasy - 2021 - Philosophical Studies 179 (3):725-743.
    Some Presentists—according to whom everything is present—identify instants of time with propositions of a certain kind. However, the view that times are propositions seems to be at odds with Presentism: if there are times then there are past times, and therefore things that are past; but how could there be things that are past if everything is present? In this paper, we describe the Presentist view that times are propositions ; we set out the argument that Presentism is incompatible with (...)
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  10. A (Limited) Defence of Priorianism.Daniel Deasy - forthcoming - Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy.
    This paper defends Priorianism, a theory in the philosophy of time which combines three theses: first, that there is a metaphysical distinction between the present time and non-present times; second, that there are temporary propositions, that is, propositions that change in truth-value simpliciter over time; and third, that there is change over time only if there are temporary propositions. Priorianism is accepted by many Presentists, Growing Block Theorists, and Moving Spotlight Theorists. However, it is difficult to defend the view without (...)
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  11.  64
    Review of Ross Cameron: The Moving Spotlight: An Essay on Time and Ontology. [REVIEW]Daniel Deasy - 2016 - Journal of Philosophy 113 (9):472-477.
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    Skow on Robust Passage and The Moving Spotlight Theory.Daniel Deasy - 2018 - Philosophical Studies 175 (7):1791-1805.
    Bradford Skow’s Objective Becoming (2015) is a strikingly original and philosophically rich contribution to contemporary philosophy of time. The book rewards very careful study, and is surely a ‘must-read’ for anyone with an interest in current debates concerning time and change. Perhaps the most immediately compelling aspect of the book is its leading question: if I [Skow] didn’t already accept the ‘block universe theory’ (BU),1 which theory of time would I defend? Skow’s surprising (and, from my perspective, welcome!) answer is (...)
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