Extent of the present
Talbot School of Theology
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.
International Studies in the Philosophy of Science
DOI of Published Version
Craig, William Lane, "Extent of the present" (2000). Faculty Articles & Research. 633.