Thomas M. Crisp

in The Oxford Handbook of Metaphysics

Published in print September 2005 | ISBN: 9780199284221
Published online September 2009 | | DOI:

Series: Oxford Handbooks in Philosophy


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Presentism, roughly, is the thesis that only the present is real. The opposite view is eternalism or four-dimensionalism, the thesis that reality consists of past, present, and future entities. After spelling out the presentist's thesis more carefully, something can be said about why one might think it true. This article develops four prominent objections to presentism and says something about how the presentist might reply to each. There are no knock-down arguments for presentism, like most other substantive theses in philosophy, it cannot be established conclusively. It is, however, a natural position to take given certain metaphysical and linguistic commitments.

Keywords: presentism; eternalism; the presentist; metaphysical commitments; linguistic commitments; arguments

Article.  17115 words. 

Subjects: Philosophy ; Metaphysics ; Philosophy of Language ; Philosophy of Science

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