Time direction, time order, and the presentist’s view on space-time
According to tenseless theories of time, time is essentially time order, characterized by the earlier-later relation between events located in spacetime. Spacetimes containing closed timelike curves, however, do not have a globally consistent time order but (only) a globally consistent time direction. It seems that time direction is more fundamental than time order, which apparently contradicts the spirit of any B-theory of time. It will be argued that presentism, by contrast, provides an understanding of "temporal succession" that is independent of an ordering relation but conceived of as being a productive succession. The present, continuously coming into being, is therefore essentially time direction, namely directed towards existence. Construed this way, the tensed theory of time copes better with general relativity than its tenseless opponents.