This is part of a series on metametaphysics.
The affective significance of temporal ontology must be discussed if we are to have a realistic idea of the language-game - what it is, what it's doing in our lives, how it got there etc. To avoid such considerations is not an option, and pursuing them will show why people in the grip of temporal ontology have avoided them.
Eternalism has a comforting flavour, presentism has a dillusioned, sometimes stoic flavour. Like Freudianism, presentism can be perversely attractive, appealing to our desire to face up to things, our desire to shed comforting illusions.
What about the approach to the critique of metaphysics which focuses on the lack of any sufficient criteria for deciding one way or another? The problem with this, it seems, is that the metaphysician responds by inventing criteria. (So we need some way of saying: but those are ad hoc, after the fact. (Bait and switch.) And for that we need some conception of the real essence of the original game.)
The metaphysician starts with intuitions, visions, wishes, enthusiasms, feelings and the like, and then proceeds. We cannot afford to ignore or lose sight of these, if we are to effectively criticize metaphysics, for they are its root - otherwise all we are doing is cutting a weed back, or blocking off some areas in which it might have grown.
Similarly, my point of departure is: this must be criticised, this isn't any good.
The logical positivists said barely anything about what is really going on when a person gets into metaphysics. They just say this is one rough subclass of occurences of meaningless language. The attitude was: we have a criterion of meaningfulness, metaphysics doesn't meet it, end of metaphysics. What it was doing there in the first place is as it were dismissed with a bemused shake of the head, or a shrug - 'Well, it's a crazy world out there!', 'Not our problem!'.
To compel a metaphysician, using argument, to stop being one, could only work by means of a kind of trick. (Not quite right.)
There is something almost devious about the way a contemporary analytic philosopher would typically write a paper which is fundamentally opposed to metaphysics. What they really feel like saying, they will not say (or not frankly and in whole) - they use diplomacy, and try to set up dialectical ambushes. There is a place for this perhaps, but I think it is high time for something else - something which may be more effective.
I want to examine and add to the antimetaphysician's toolkit, and reconsider what might go in it.