The Other Contenders
In this chapter we offer novel characterisations of presentism and permanentism which, or so we argue, significantly improve upon extant accounts. In particular, we show that, given the availability of these characterisations, neither presentism nor dynamic permanentism needs to invoke any substantial notion of presentness. In Sect. 5.1 we rehearse T. Williamson’s misgivings about the use of the notion of presentness in attempts to articulate presentism. While Williamson takes these misgivings to be sufficient to discard presentism, in Sect. 5.2 we show that the view allows for its systematic reformulation solely in terms of tensed quantification, temporal operators and a predicate for times. In Sect. 5.3, after giving a characterisation of static permanentism and critically discussing R. Cameron’s recent account of the Moving Spotlight Theory, we offer an equally lean formulation of dynamic permanentism solely in terms of temporal operators and a tensed proposition true at one time only.
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