Problem of Time and the Dilemma of Presentism

Adeyanju Olanshile Muideen


This paper engages in a critique of the problem of time and a presentist approach to the problem. The metaphysical problem of time bothers on the question of whether time exists the same way some other existents in the universe are said to exist. There have been arguments for and against the position of the reality of time. One of the metaphysical positions on the reality of time is presentism. Presentism is the view that only the present constitutes the reality of time. Past and future are unreal and do not constitute time. Thus, the position of presentism, unlike other positions on the reality of time, posits real existence of times to be that which is present. This paper seeks to argue that presentism is self-stultifying and faces a dilemma that shows that the theory either posits the unreality of time (which will be opposing to what it purportedly stands for) or it admits of other features of time (that is, past and future). Either way, presentism is faced with a challenge that it is an inadequate theory of addressing the problem of time.


Presentism; Tense; Time; Triviality argument; Truthmaking

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