•  78
    Advanced Temporalising
    In Karen Bennett & Dean Zimmerman (eds.), Oxford Studies in Metaphysics, . forthcoming.
    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 than t. Howev…Read more
  •  30
    Hazardous Conditions Persist
    Erkenntnis 1-24. forthcoming.
    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 we a…Read more
  •  169
    Characterising Theories of Time and Modality
    Analytic Philosophy 60 (3): 283-305. 2019.
    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
  •  180
    The triviality argument against presentism
    Synthese 196 (8): 3369-3388. 2019.
    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 Trivial…Read more
  •  147
    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
  •  57
    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
  •  994
    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
  •  54
  •  1269
    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