Presentism: The Problem of Truth, Meaning and Reference
University of Delaware
Presentism is the view that all of reality is exhausted by the present. That is, the only objects and individuals that exist are those that exist in the present; anything else literally does not exist. How then is a presentist able to ground the truths of propositions uttered in the present which seem to be about wholly past individuals? I examine three possible solutions proposed by the presentist, concluding all three suffer from the shifting truth-maker objection. I then look at how a presentist might employ a descriptive theory for the meaning of names to avoid apparently committing themselves to the existence of non-present individuals. This is then contrasted by the direct reference theory of names as argued for by Kripke, before concluding the descriptive view is unacceptable as a theory of meaning. After considering the proposed solutions presented by the presentist, I argue that Presentism should be avoided due to its counterintuitive consequences in favor of Eternalism.