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Realism About Tense and Perspective



On one view of time (a view that has gone by the names of tense realism, eternalist A-theory, hyper-kenesis, and the moving spotlight view) past, present and future things exist, but their being past, present or future does not consist in their standing in before- and after-relations to other things. So, for example, the event of the signing of the Magna Carta is past, and its being so does not consist in, or reduce to, its coming before the events of 2010.

In this paper I discuss arguments for and against this view and view in its near vicinity, perspectival realism. I suggest that perspectival realism is a better view than tense realism. It shares the principal virtues, but not the principal vices, of tense realism.