Prior: because it too consists in a lack of prefix
Presentness of event = the event
E.g.: “My lecture is present” = “I am lecturing”
“Present” is redundant – it adds nothing; it just is reality.
What’s present is always changing: therefore presentism entails passage.
Presentism and McTaggart’s Argument Presentism seems bound to run up against McTaggart’s argument:
Because time passes, every event is past, present and future.
To avoid this contradiction, we say: “Every event is past, present or future at different times!”
But the only time that exists is the present. There are no other times at which an event can be past/future. So:
How does presentism avoid contradiction?
Possible response: well, since only the present exists, there are no times at which an event is past or future. So, McTaggart’s contradiction never arises.
Problem: if there are no times at which the event is past/future, how does time pass? What exactly is temporal flow?
What are we referring to when we speak in the past and future tense?
If past/future events don’t exist, how can talk about them be true?
E.g.: “W.W.II. was brutal”.
Talk about past/future is untrue = skepticism.
Talk about past/future is actually about present evidence (photographs, memories, etc.) = verificationism.
Problems: (1) is very rash: accepting skepticism to hold on to a theory of time counts against the theory.
(2) What are photographs, memories, etc. records of if there are no past/future events to which they might refer?
There are alternative A-theories.
The empty future (Broad)
Present and past events are real
The future is unreal: there exists nothing after the present (that’s what makes it present)
Passage is the successive addition of “slices” of existence to reality
When an event becomes past, all that has happened is that new reality has been added after it: the more slices, the further in the past.
What is change on this view? Broad: three kinds of change:
Change in an object’s properties:
O was P at T1, Q at T2
There was a time when reality included O being P but not O being Q.