This course will focus on the main current theories in temporal ontology, or metaphysics of time, which compete on the proper characterization of the ontological status of the past, the present and the future. We shall carefully distinguish the A- and B-theories of time and then concentrate on their different versions, such as the old B-theory, the new B-theory, presentism, the growing block theory, the branching future theory, the moving spotlight theory. Defining and assessing these approaches will lead us to distinguish between tensedness and tenselessness in both language and reality, and to reconsider from a temporal perspective some crucial ontological notions such as existence, object, property, relation, state of affairs, event, proposition. Other issues that will come to the fore include:
The lecturer will argue in particular for a version of presentism that he has developed over the years, “moderate presentism,” but all the chief rival approaches will be given due consideration.
The arguments of those who those who take the disputes in temporal ontology to be merely verbal will also be discussed and criticized.
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Cameron, R. P. (2015). The Moving Spotlight: An Essay on Time and Ontology. Oxford UP, Oxford.
Deasy, D. (2015). “The Moving Spotlight Theory.” Philosophical Studies 172: 2073–2089.
Deasy, D. (2017). What is Presentism?, Noûs 51: 378–397.
Lombard L. B. (2010), “Time for a Change: A Polemic against the Presentism-Eternalism Debate.” In J. K. Campbell, M. O’Rourke, H. Silverstein (Eds.), Time and Identity (pp. 49-77). The MIT Press, Cambridge, Mass.
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Mellor, H. (1998), Real Time II, Routledge, London.
Meyer, U. (2013a). The Nature of Time. Oxford UP, Oxford.
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Oaklander, N. L. (2012). “A-, B-, and R-Theories of Time: A Debate.” In A. Bardon (Ed.), The Future of the Philosophy of Time (pp. 1-24). New York: Routledge.
Orilia, F. (2016). “Moderate Presentism.” Philosophical Studies, 173: 589-607.
Orilia, F. (2016). “On the Existential Side of the Eternalism-Presentism debate.” Manuscrito 39: 225-254.
Orilia, F. & Oaklander, N. L. (2015). “Do we Really Need a New B-theory of Time?.” Topoi 34: 1-14.
Sider, T. (2011). Writing the Book of the World. Oxford UP, Oxford.
Tooley, M. (1997). Time, Tense and Causation. Oxford UP, Oxford.