Quantum Physics and Presentism

  • Michael EsfeldEmail author
Part of the On Thinking book series (ONTHINKING, volume 4)


This paper argues that the case of presentism is open both from the physical and the metaphysical point of view. It is open from the physical point of view, since we do not have an elaborate account at our disposal of how quantum non-locality can exist in the space–time of special relativity, without presupposing an objective foliation of space–time into spatial hypersurfaces that are ordered in time. The GRW flash ontology is the proposal in the current debate that to a certain extent comes close to such an account, but meets with serious reservations. The case of presentism is open from a metaphysical point of view as well, since an ontology of matter in motion implies endurantism and thereby, as one can argue, presentism. Again, we do not have a precisely worked out proposal at our disposal that replaces an ontology of matter in motion with an ontology of properties existing at space–time points in a block universe, and any such proposal meets with serious reservations.


Quantum Theory Time Region Relativity Physic Bohmian Mechanic Inertial Reference Frame 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.



I’m grateful to Albrecht von Müller for the invitation to contribute to this volume. I would like to thank Dustin Lazarovici and Christian Wüthrich for comments on the draft of this paper and Jeffrey Barrett for a discussion on the GRW flash ontology. None of these philosophers should of course be held responsible for the views set out in this paper.


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of PhilosophyUniversity of LausanneLausanneSwitzerland

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