Tense, special relativity, and flow: a wave theoretic view

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


This paper introduces a new tensed theory of time, ‘wave theory’. Wave theorists believe in the same four-dimensional hunks that eternalist-perdurantists believe in, but deny that everyday objects are to be identified with them. Instead, everyday objects are three-dimensional objects constituted by the presently existing temporal parts of those hunks (where ‘constitution’ means just that relation which holds between lumps of clay and statues). This paper combines wave theory with an ‘intentionalist’ theory of constitution, whereby constituted objects partially depend upon the dispositions of agents to have beliefs about them. I then show how the resulting combination can resolve the tension between tensed time and special relativity, as well as explain the passage of time.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationLa métaphysique du temps
Subtitle of host publicationPerspectives contemporaines
EditorsAlexandre Declos, Claudine Tiercelin
Place of PublicationParis
PublisherCollege de France
ISBN (Electronic)9782722605695
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 15 Feb 2021

Publication series

NamePhilosophie de la connaissance
ISSN (Electronic)2261-5156


  • wave theory
  • ontology of time
  • presentism
  • tensed theory
  • flow of time


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