On the Sentimental Argument



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In his 2022 paper, “Five New Arguments for the Dynamic Theory of Time,” Ned Markosian presents the Sentimental Argument for what he calls the dynamic theory of time. According to this argument, there are certain, so-called “poignant” truths about the way the world is. According to Markosian, it follows from these poignant truths that the dynamic theory of time is true. In this thesis, I explain Markosian’s sentimental argument for accepting the dynamic theory of time. I will then point out an objection to his argument by positing some alternative views besides the dynamic theory that could play the same role in Markosian’s argument. I find myself rather persuaded by Markosian’s argument, in the sense that I think we ought to pay attention to what he identifies as these poignant truths when deciding what metaphysical theory of time to adopt. And if our only options are Markosian’s static and dynamic theories of time, then I agree that we ought to choose the dynamic theory on the basis of his sentimental argument. My view is that there are in fact other options. And once we recognize the other options, even if we are paying attention to the poignant truths, they do not entail what Markosian thinks they do.



time, sentimental argument, metaphysics, dynamic theory of time, static theory of time