Friday, March 02, 2012

McTaggart paper

I've posted a new paper: 'McTaggart and Modal McTaggart: presentism and actualism to the rescue?'

Here's the abstract:

McTaggart aims to cause trouble for views on which there is a privileged present but it changes what time it is. The modal analogue of his argument aims to cause trouble for views on which there is privileged actuality but it’s contingent which world is actual. Prima facie, the arguments work against views which are realist about other times and worlds, but not against presentist or actualism. But this has been challenged in both directions. Nick JJ Smith argues that the temporal problem still afflicts the presentist: if he’s right, the modal analogue afflicts the actualist as well. Phillip Bricker argues that the modal problem doesn’t afflict the modal realist with privileged actuality: if he’s right, the temporal analogue doesn’t afflict the A-theoretic eternalist. I argue they are both wrong: there is a serious problem for eternalism with A-theory and for modal realism with absolute actuality, but there is no problem for the presentist or actualist.

Comments welcome!

New Leeds hires: update

Just an update on the post below: unfortunately Paulina Sliwa is no longer such as to have accepted our job, so we will only be welcoming Paolo Santorio and Matt Smith to the department.