An assessment of presentism

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Title: An assessment of presentism
Author: McDaniel, Brannon David
Abstract: There is a debate in the philosophy of time over the status of non -present entities . Do these things exist , and if so , what sorts of things are they ? Recently , the debate has split into two groups , presentists and eternalists . Presentists hold that no past or future things exist now . Socrates does not now exist , though he did in the past ; my future daughter does not now exist , though she may in the future . Ontologically , the present is distinct , serving to demarcate all that currently has existence . As far as the eternalist is concerned , all entities - whether past , present , or future - are equally real . If it was , is , or will be , it can be found in the eternalist picture of time . As such , there is no distinct present at which some entities exist while others do not ; rather , everything enjoys the same ontological status . I will be concerned to offer an assessment of the presentist view . Common objections against presentism will be examined , amplified , and answered where appropriate . I will not examine the arguments in favor of the presentist view . Rather , I wish to describe why it is that the eternalist feels compelled to deny presentism . Ultimately , my goal will be to show that although presentism survives some of the current objections raised against it , it does not survive them all . Presentism is an interesting , but ultimately unsatisfactory view . There is a modified form of presentism (call it presentism* ) that can meet the objections raised against the original position , and after noting some of the objections raised against presentism , I will sketch the outlines of presentism* in some detail . I intend to show that presentism* is able to retain what is most valuable about presentism , while also withstanding certain objections that the latter view could not .
URI: http : / /hdl .handle .net /1969 .1 /29
Date: 2004-09-30

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An assessment of presentism. Available electronically from http : / /hdl .handle .net /1969 .1 /29 .

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