Philosophical Studies

, Volume 172, Issue 9, pp 2513–2530 | Cite as

Explanation and nowness: an objection to the A-Theory



This paper presents an argument against the A-Theory of time. Briefly, I shall contend that the A-Theorist has no explanation for why the present moment in particular has the metaphysical privilege she accords it, and that this puts the theory at a disadvantage. In what follows, I shall begin by presenting this argument. I will follow that with some potential explanations for why the present moment is privileged and reasons militating against them, in addition to some other possible objections to my argument and my responses to them. The conclusion will be that the A-Theorist fails to provide either an obvious or a theoretical explanation of the present time’s privileged status and is thereby at a theoretical disadvantage to theories that do not posit a metaphysically privileged present time. Topics covered include the purported analogy between times and worlds, the possibility that times are individuated by what is true at them, and the semantic status of titles for date-times.


A-Theory Times Explanation Presentness 



I presented an earlier version of this paper at the 2013 conference for the Society for Exact Philosophy at the University of Montreal under the title “Times, Reasons, and Nowness: Why You Can’t Be an A-Theorist, Rationalist, and Comfortable at the Same Time.” I am grateful for the comments and criticism I received there, as well as those of Alex Pruss, Josh Rasmussen, Alex Skiles, and Alfredo Watkins.


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© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Shimer CollegeChicagoUSA

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