Philosophical Studies

, Volume 174, Issue 4, pp 927–943 | Cite as

The Growing-Block: just one thing after another?

  • Rachael Briggs
  • Graeme A. Forbes


In this article, we consider two independently appealing theories—the Growing-Block view and Humean Supervenience—and argue that at least one is false. The Growing-Block view is a theory about the nature of time. It says that (a) past and present things exist, while future things do not, and (b) the passage of time consists in new things coming into existence. Humean Supervenience is a theory about the nature of entities like laws, nomological possibility, counterfactuals, dispositions, causation, and chance. It says that none of these entities are fundamental, since if they were, this would entail the existence of irreducible necessary connections between matters of fact. Instead, these entities supervene on a fundamental, non-nomological ‘Humean mosaic’ of property instances at spacetime points. We will further explain and motivate the Growing-Block view and Humean Supervenience in Sects. 2 and 3, but first, we turn to our master argument.


Growing block theory Humean supervenience Philosophy of time A theories Best-system analysis 



We thank Alan Hájek, Daniel Nolan, Rosanna Keefe, Jonathan Payne, Jon Williamson, and anonymous referees at Philosophical Studies and the Australasian Journal of Philosophy for their helpful comments on earlier drafts of this paper.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Stanford UniversityStanfordUSA
  2. 2.School of European Culture and LanguagesUniversity of KentCanterbury, KentUK

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