The Metaphysics of Time

  • Ori BelkindEmail author
Part of the Boston Studies in the Philosophy of Science book series (BSPS, volume 264)


For the most part, contemporary philosophy of time is governed by the distinction between Presentism and Eternalism. In understanding the nature of time, the choice seems to be between a moving present and a frozen history, laid out along the time-line. According to Presentism, the only concrete time that exists is the present. Everything that was past no longer exists and that which is in the future is yet to happen. The present moment keeps “flowing,” so that every instant is followed by a new instant in which part of the future becomes the present and the present becomes past. One frequently distinguishes between the past, present and future based on the types of action that are available. It is not possible to influence the past; actions take place only in the present. The future is pregnant with possibilities that might or might not be realized, depending on what we do in the present. Thus, Presentism is presupposed whenever one forms plans for the future or allows for the possibility that things could have been otherwise than they are.


Causal Relation Temporal Instant Inertial Reference Frame Infinite Regress Primitive Motion 
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© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of PhilosophyUniversity of RichmondRichmondUSA

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