• Characterising Theories of Time and Modality
    Analytic Philosophy. forthcoming.
    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 …Read more
  • Presentism is typically characterised as the thesis that everything (unrestrictedly) is present, and therefore there are (quantifying unrestrictedly) no dinosaurs or Martian presidential inaugurations. Putting aside the vexed question of exactly what it is to be present in this context (see Williamson in Modal logic as metaphysics, Oxford University Press, Oxford, 2013; Cameron in Anal Philos 57:110–140, 2016; Deasy in Noûs 51:378–397, 2017), this thesis seems quite straightforward. However, a n…Read more
  • Philosophical Arguments Against the A-Theory
    Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 99 (2): 270-292. 2018.
    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…Read more
  • Skow on Robust Passage and The Moving Spotlight Theory
    Philosophical Studies 175 (7): 1791-1805. 2018.
    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 …Read more
  • What is Presentism?
    Noûs 51 (2): 378-397. 2017.
    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 t…Read more
  • Review of Ross Cameron: The Moving Spotlight: An Essay on Time and Ontology (review)
    Journal of Philosophy 113 (9): 472-477. 2016.
  • The Moving Spotlight Theory
    Philosophical Studies 172 (8): 2073-2089. 2015.
    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 picture of …Read more