I have some half-baked puzzles for presentism, but before I lay those out – I have a quick warm-up exercise.
How Long Is the Present?
I assume that if presentism is true, then the answer is durationless. This seems like a fair assumption. However, I vaguely remember someone describing a version of presentism according to which the present moment had duration.
So maybe I shouldn’t simply assume that presentism is committed to durationless present moments. Instead, I can offer two arguments that the present must be durationless, if presentism is true. However, I’m not sure how good they are.
Argument One: If the present moment had duration and presentism is true, then there is a time at which past things and future things both exist – namely, the beginning of the present moment and the end of the present moment. But this seems like what I’ll call micro-eternalism. I can’t see how the presentist could plausibly resist the push to full blown eternalism.
Argument Two: Duration entails a past and a future. If presentism is true, then it cannot be true that two things exist at the same time such that one is past and the other is future. A moment with duration that wholly exists at one time, entails that there are two things that both exist such that one is past and one is future. Therefore, if presentism is true, then present moments cannot have duration.
I don’t know that I can really make either of those stick, and I probably should go back sometime and present these in numbered-premise form. I simply wanted to get these down.
Warm-up is over – I’ll present the puzzles I have for presentism after I mull this over.