Volume 91, Issue 3, July 2014
Daniel Padgett, T. Ryan Byerly
Reconstituting Ersatzer Presentism
Presentists claim that only presently existing objects exist. One version of presentism is ersatzer presentism, according to which times are a kind of abstract object. Such a view is appealing because it affords the presentist an answer to the grounding objection—a potentially lethal objection to presentism. Despite this advantage, available versions of ersatzer presentism suffer from a heretofore unappreciated shortcoming: they cannot account for the truth of certain counterfactual claims about the past. We argue for this claim by considering two views representative of ersatzer presentism—those of Thomas Crisp and Craig Bourne. After presenting our arguments against their views, we defend two crucial assumptions in those arguments. Finally, we offer a novel version of ersatzer presentism that appropriates the metaphysics of constitution in order to avoid the difficulty that current ersatzer presentist views face.