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The extent of the present

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Abstract:

One of the principal objections to a tensed or dynamic theory of time is the ancient puzzle about the extent of the present. Three alternative conceptions of the extent of the present are considered: an instantaneous present, an atomic present, and a non-metrical present. The first conception is difficult to reconcile with the objectivity of temporal becoming posited by a dynamic theory of time. The second conception solves that problem, but only at the expense of making change discontinuous. The third conception is the most plausible: that "the present" is a non-metrical notion which must be completed by the mention of some event or interval in order to have a measure, in which case what is present varies with one's context.

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/02698590050045746

Affiliations: Talbot School of Theology, 13800 Biola Ave, La Mirada, CA 90639, USA

Publication date: July 1, 2000

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