Becoming, Relativity and Locality

Dennis Dieks


It is a central aspect of our direct time experience and our everyday concept of time that events come into being. It is only natural to take this seriously. However, on further reflection it is not clear at all exactly what this ``becoming'' consists in. I argue that our experience does not warrant the idea that becoming is associated with a linear succession of events in the world, related to simultaneity or another global ordering. Arguments from theoretical physics about the structure of spacetime also support the conclusion that there is no relation between becoming and global ordering. Accordingly, I propose that becoming should be conceived as something purely local: *events come into being at their own spacetime location*. Whether or not these elementary happenings allow a physically sensible global temporal ordering seems something that is contingent and secondary.