Access Type

Open Access Dissertation

Date of Award

January 2017

Degree Type


Degree Name




First Advisor

Lawrence B. Lombard


Presentism is the view that, with the possible exception of things outside of time, everything that exists, exists at the present time. It is contrasted with eternalism, the view that everything which ever did exist or ever will exist, exists. Some philosophers argue that presentism and eternalism are not really substantive, opposed metaphysical theses. I consider some attempts in the literature to rebut this skeptical position, and argue that they are unsatisfactory. Then I make my own case for the conclusion that presentism and eternalism are substantive metaphysical theses by drawing a distinction between two ways of talking about what exists with respect to a time, and imagining a hypothetical analogous debate about the nature of space.

Included in

Philosophy Commons