A Token-based Semantic Analysis of McTaggart's Paradox
Graduate studies at Western
Linguistic and Philosophical Investigations 10:107-124 (2011)
|Abstract||In his famous argument for the unreality of time, McTaggart claims that i) being past, being present, and being future are incompatible properties of an event, yet ii) every event admits all these three properties. In this paper, I examine two key concepts involved in the formulation of i) and ii), namely that of “validity” and that of “contradiction”, and for each concept I distinguish a static version and a dynamic version of it. I then arrive at three different ways of formulating McTaggart’s claims that avoid the notorious McTaggart’s Paradox. So long as we demand that McTaggart make clear use/mention and token/type distinctions in his claims, we shall find that it is indeed very difficult for him to get a genuine contradiction from i) and ii).|
|Keywords||McTaggart’s Paradox Incompatibility Thesis All-inclusive Thesis static contradiction dynamic contradiction|
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