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Nefarious Presentism

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Publication details

JournalThe Philosophical Quarterly
DateE-pub ahead of print - 25 Jun 2015
DatePublished (current) - Jul 2015
Issue number260
Number of pages17
Pages (from-to)355–371
Early online date25/06/15
Original languageEnglish


Presentists, who believe that only present objects exist, face a problem concerning truths about the past. Presentists should (but cannot) locate truth-makers for truths about the past. What can presentists say in response? We identify two rival factions ‘upstanding’ and ‘nefarious’ presentists. Upstanding presentists aim to meet the challenge, positing presently existing truth-makers for truths about the past; nefarious presentists aim to shirk their responsibilities, using the language of truth-maker theory but without paying any ontological price. We argue that presentists should be nefarious presentists.

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