David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
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Ratio 15 (3):276–292 (2002)
If, as the new tenseless theory of time maintains, there are no tensed facts, then why do our emotional lives seem to suggest that there are? This question originates with Prior’s ‘Thank Goodness That’s Over’ problem, and still presents a significant challenge to the new B-theory of time. We argue that this challenge has more dimensions to it than has been appreciated by those involved in the debate so far. We present an analysis of the challenge, showing the different questions that a B-theorist must answer in order to meet it. The debate has focused on the question of what is the object of my relief when an unpleasant experience is past. We outline the prevailing response to this question. The additional, and neglected, questions are, firstly—‘Why does the same event elicit different emotional responses from us depending on whether it is in the past, present, or future?’ And secondly—‘Why do we care more about proximate future pain than about distant future pain?’ We give B-theory answers to these questions, which appeal to evolutionary considerations.
|Keywords||Time Emotion Evolution|
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Citations of this work BETA
Simon Prosser (2007). Could We Experience the Passage of Time? Ratio 20 (1):75-90.
Heather Dyke (2003). Temporal Language and Temporal Reality. Philosophical Quarterly 53 (212):380–391.
Heather Dyke (2011). The Evolutionary Origins of Tensed Language and Belief. Biology and Philosophy 26 (3):401-418.
Jonathan Tallant (2013). Quantitative Parsimony and the Metaphysics of Time: Motivating Presentism. Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 87 (3):688-705.
Christoph Hoerl (2015). Tense and the Psychology of Relief. Topoi 34 (1):217-231.
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