What is temporal ontology?

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

3 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Temporal ontology is the part of ontology involving the rival positions of presentism, eternalism, and the growing block theory. While this much is clear, it’s surprisingly difficult to elucidate the substance of the disagreement between presentists and eternalists (to focus on the most widespread positions). Certain events happened that are not happening now; what is it to disagree about whether these events exist (simpliciter, or else tenselessly)? In spite of widespread suspicion concerning the status and methods of analytic metaphysics, skeptics’ doubts about this debate have not generally been heeded, neither by metaphysicians, nor by philosophers of physics. This paper revisits the question in the light of prominent elucidation attempts from both camps (by Ted Sider, Christian Wüthrich, and Tom Stoneham). The upshot is that skeptics were right to be puzzled. The paper then explores a possible re-interpretation of positions in temporal ontology that links it to normative views about how we should live as temporal beings.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)793-807
Number of pages15
JournalPhilosophical Studies
Volume175
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2018 Mar 1

Fingerprint

Ontology
Skeptics
Elucidation
Metaphysician
Presentist
Eternalism
Metaphysics
Reinterpretation
Rivals
Philosopher
Physics
Suspicion
Presentism

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Philosophy

Cite this

Deng, Natalja. / What is temporal ontology?. In: Philosophical Studies. 2018 ; Vol. 175, No. 3. pp. 793-807.
@article{6efcb8aa20bb4133a98fc4c44759240a,
title = "What is temporal ontology?",
abstract = "Temporal ontology is the part of ontology involving the rival positions of presentism, eternalism, and the growing block theory. While this much is clear, it’s surprisingly difficult to elucidate the substance of the disagreement between presentists and eternalists (to focus on the most widespread positions). Certain events happened that are not happening now; what is it to disagree about whether these events exist (simpliciter, or else tenselessly)? In spite of widespread suspicion concerning the status and methods of analytic metaphysics, skeptics’ doubts about this debate have not generally been heeded, neither by metaphysicians, nor by philosophers of physics. This paper revisits the question in the light of prominent elucidation attempts from both camps (by Ted Sider, Christian W{\"u}thrich, and Tom Stoneham). The upshot is that skeptics were right to be puzzled. The paper then explores a possible re-interpretation of positions in temporal ontology that links it to normative views about how we should live as temporal beings.",
author = "Natalja Deng",
year = "2018",
month = "3",
day = "1",
doi = "10.1007/s11098-017-0893-6",
language = "English",
volume = "175",
pages = "793--807",
journal = "Philosophical Studies",
issn = "0031-8116",
publisher = "Springer Netherlands",
number = "3",

}

What is temporal ontology? / Deng, Natalja.

In: Philosophical Studies, Vol. 175, No. 3, 01.03.2018, p. 793-807.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

TY - JOUR

T1 - What is temporal ontology?

AU - Deng, Natalja

PY - 2018/3/1

Y1 - 2018/3/1

N2 - Temporal ontology is the part of ontology involving the rival positions of presentism, eternalism, and the growing block theory. While this much is clear, it’s surprisingly difficult to elucidate the substance of the disagreement between presentists and eternalists (to focus on the most widespread positions). Certain events happened that are not happening now; what is it to disagree about whether these events exist (simpliciter, or else tenselessly)? In spite of widespread suspicion concerning the status and methods of analytic metaphysics, skeptics’ doubts about this debate have not generally been heeded, neither by metaphysicians, nor by philosophers of physics. This paper revisits the question in the light of prominent elucidation attempts from both camps (by Ted Sider, Christian Wüthrich, and Tom Stoneham). The upshot is that skeptics were right to be puzzled. The paper then explores a possible re-interpretation of positions in temporal ontology that links it to normative views about how we should live as temporal beings.

AB - Temporal ontology is the part of ontology involving the rival positions of presentism, eternalism, and the growing block theory. While this much is clear, it’s surprisingly difficult to elucidate the substance of the disagreement between presentists and eternalists (to focus on the most widespread positions). Certain events happened that are not happening now; what is it to disagree about whether these events exist (simpliciter, or else tenselessly)? In spite of widespread suspicion concerning the status and methods of analytic metaphysics, skeptics’ doubts about this debate have not generally been heeded, neither by metaphysicians, nor by philosophers of physics. This paper revisits the question in the light of prominent elucidation attempts from both camps (by Ted Sider, Christian Wüthrich, and Tom Stoneham). The upshot is that skeptics were right to be puzzled. The paper then explores a possible re-interpretation of positions in temporal ontology that links it to normative views about how we should live as temporal beings.

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?scp=85014944031&partnerID=8YFLogxK

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/citedby.url?scp=85014944031&partnerID=8YFLogxK

U2 - 10.1007/s11098-017-0893-6

DO - 10.1007/s11098-017-0893-6

M3 - Article

VL - 175

SP - 793

EP - 807

JO - Philosophical Studies

JF - Philosophical Studies

SN - 0031-8116

IS - 3

ER -