Stephen Barker

Heraclitean Time: Beyond Presentism and Growing Blocks

I describe a metaphysical conception of physical reality, which I call the Flux-first view, which treats change, or flux, as fundamental rather than being: states of affairs, objects/events in spacetime. The core theses are that (i) change is prior to time and (ii) change is prior to states of affairs — states are derivative from prior process. The essence of the approach is the fundamental role of properties is not to be things possessed or instantiated, the orthodox view, but to be aspects of change. This is captured in the idea that the fundamental units of concrete reality are what I call 'fluxions': dynamic ‘bundles’ of properties or forms. As such, Flux-first is a kind of dynamic structuralism — not the familiar 4-dimensionalist (static) structuralism. The view of time in Flux-first is not Presentism or Growing block (or moving spotlight). It’s certainly not the 4-dimensional, block universe view. Call it 'Heraclitean'.

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