Is the relativity of simultaneity a temporal illusion?

Berit Brogaard, Kristian Marlow

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


Tensism holds that the present moment has a special status that sets it apart from the past and the future, independently of perceivers. One of the main objections to this view has been Einstein's argument from special relativity, which aims at showing that absolute simultaneity is a myth. We argue that the moving observer in a causal variant of Einstein's original thought experiment is subject to a temporal illusion. Owing to the analogy of the cases, this casts doubt on the conjectures that there is no privileged frame of reference and that special relativity poses a problem for tensism.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)635-642
Number of pages8
Issue number4
StatePublished - Oct 2013
Externally publishedYes


  • absolute simultaneity
  • cause-effect sequence
  • presentism
  • rest frame
  • special relativity
  • temporal illusion
  • temporal passage
  • tensism

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Philosophy


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