21. Presentism, Eternalism, and the Growing Block

  1. Heather Dyke and
  2. Adrian Bardon
  1. Kristie Miller

Published Online: 29 JAN 2013

DOI: 10.1002/9781118522097.ch21

A Companion to the Philosophy of Time

A Companion to the Philosophy of Time

How to Cite

Miller, K. (2013) Presentism, Eternalism, and the Growing Block, in A Companion to the Philosophy of Time (eds H. Dyke and A. Bardon), John Wiley & Sons, Ltd, Chichester, UK. doi: 10.1002/9781118522097.ch21

Editor Information

  1. University of Otago in New Zealand

Author Information

  1. University of Sydney, Australia

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 29 JAN 2013
  2. Published Print: 15 FEB 2013

ISBN Information

Print ISBN: 9780470658819

Online ISBN: 9781118522097



  • dialectic;
  • eternalism;
  • existence;
  • growing-blockism;
  • presentism


Presentism, eternalism, and growing-blockism are theories or models of what the temporal and ontic structure of the world is, or could be. This chapter sets aside the question of whether whichever theory is true is necessarily true or only contingently true. Since defenders of each of these views think that they are competing views about the way the world is in fact, the focus is on this aspect of the dialectic. Presentism, eternalism, and growing-blockism are, in part, theories about what exists. To understand what is at issue between these three views, one needs to understand what each view intends when it makes claims about what exists. Growing-blockism is, intuitively, a view that falls somewhere between presentism and eternalism. It rejects the ontological theses of both eternalism and presentism. The chapter finally talks about objections and problems of presentism, eternalism, and growing-blockism.