Philosophical Studies

, Volume 160, Issue 3, pp 407–414 | Cite as

Dynamic events and presentism



Dynamic events such as a rolling ball moving from one place to another involve change and time intervals and thus presumably successions of static events occurring one after the other, e.g., the ball’s being at a certain place and then at another place during the interval in question. When dynamic events are experienced they should count as present and thus as existent from a presentist point of view. But this seems to imply the existence of the static events involved in them. This in turn seems to imply that there exist past and perhaps even future static events. Therefore, there is a problem for presentism. A possible way out for the presentist is proposed, based on allowing for time-indexed past-oriented and future-oriented properties. One may raise objections regarding the ontological status of these properties and the commitment to past and future objects and times that they seem to bring with them, but these objections can be put to rest.


Time Presentism Events States Properties 



I wish to thank especially Nathan Oaklander for precious suggestions on a previous version of this paper and for his encouragement. Useful comments were also offered by Mauro Dorato and an anonymous referee. Some of the ideas in this paper were presented in a talk at the conference Continuity and Discreteness between Science and Metaphysics, University of Urbino, Italy, November 19–21, 2009, funded by a 2007 PRIN grant from the Italian Ministry of Education, University and Research (MIUR) for the project Metaphysics and the A priori/A Posteriori Distinction. At that conference I benefitted from criticisms by the discussant Andrea Iacona and members of the audience.


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© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Philosophy and Human SciencesUniversity of MacerataMacerataItaly

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