Temporal externalism (TE) is the thesis (defended by Jackman (1999)) that the contents of some of an individual’s thoughts and utterances at time t may be determined by linguistic developments subsequent to t. TE has received little discussion so far, Brown 2000 and Stoneham 2002 being exceptions. I defend TE by arguing that it solves several related problems concerning the extension of natural kind terms in scientifically ignorant communities. Gary Ebbs (2000) argues that no theory can reconcile our ordinary, (...) practical judgments of sameness of extension over time with the claim that linguistic usage determines word extensions. I argue that Ebbs shows at most that no theory other than TE can effect this reconciliation. Furthermore, while Ebbs’ argument undermines Jessica Brown’s solutions to two closely related problems about natural kind term extensions (Brown 1998), TE can solve both problems without difficulty. Some criticisms of TE are briefly addressed as well. (shrink)
In response to a recent challenge that the New B-theory of Time argues invalidly from the claim that tensed sentences have tenseless truth conditions to the conclusion that temporal reality is tenseless, I argue that while early B-theorists may have relied on some such inference, New B-theorists do not. Giving tenseless truth conditions for tensed sentences is not intended to prove that temporal reality is tenseless. Rather, it is intended to undermine the A-theorist’s move from claims about the (...) irreducibility of tensed language to the conclusion that temporal reality must be tensed. I then examine how A-theorists have used facts about language in attempting to establish their conclusions about the nature of temporal reality. I take the recent work of William Lane Craig and argue that he implicitly and illicitly moves from facts about temporal language to his conclusion that temporal reality is tensed. (shrink)
Ignoring the temporal dimension, an object such as a railway tunnel or a human body is a three-dimensional whole composed of three-dimensional parts. The four-dimensionalist holds that a physical object exhibiting identity across time—Descartes, for example—is a four-dimensional whole composed of 'briefer' four-dimensional objects, its temporal parts. Peter van Inwagen (1990) has argued that four-dimensionalism cannot be sustained, or at best can be sustained only by a counterpart theorist. We argue that different schemes of individuation of temporal (...) parts are available, which undermines van Inwagen's argument. (shrink)
The paper argues that cognitive states of biological systems are inherently temporal. Three adequacy conditions for neuronal models of representation are vindicated: the compositionality of meaning, the compositionality of content, and the co-variation with content. Classicist and connectionist approaches are discussed and rejected. Based on recent neurobiological data, oscillatory networks are introduced as a third alternative. A mathematical description in a Hilbert space framework is developed. The states of this structure can be regarded as conceptual representations satisfying the three (...) conditions. (shrink)
In this paper, I argue that the temporal connective prima (‘before’) is a comparative adverb. The argument is based on a number of grammatical facts from Italian, showing that there is an asymmetry between prima and dopo (‘after’). On the ground of their divergent behaviour, I suggest that dopo has a different grammatical status from prima. I propose a semantic treatment for prima that is based on an independently motivated analysis of comparatives which can be traced back to Seuren (...) (in: Kiefer and Ruwet (eds.) Generative grammar in Europe, 1973). Dopo is analyzed instead as an atomic two-place predicate which contributes a binary relation over events to the sentence meaning. The different semantic treatments of the two connectives provide an explanation for the grammatical asymmetries considered at the outset; interestingly, they also shed some light on other asymmetries between prima and dopo, which are known to hold for the English temporal connectives before and after as well: these asymmetries are related to the veridicality properties, the distribution of NPIs, and the logical properties of these connectives first described in Anscombe (Philos Rev 73:3–24, 1964). (shrink)
I borrow an idea from the fiction of C. S. Lewis that future outcomes may affect the value of past events, defend this idea via the concept of a 'temporal whole' and show its promise as a partial theodicy and its resonance with Christian theism and a robust personalism.
In this article I investigate several possibilities to define the concept of “temporal non-locality” within the standard framework of quantum theory. In particular, I analyze the notions of “temporally non-local states”, “temporally non-local events” and “temporally non-local observables”. The idea of temporally non-local events is already inherent in the standard formalism of quantum mechanics, and Basil Hiley recently defined an operator in order to measure the degree of such a temporal non-locality. The concept of temporally non-local states enters (...) as soon as “clock-representing states” are introduced in the context of special and general relativity. It is discussed in which way temporally non-local measurements may find an interesting application for experiments which test temporal versions of Bell inequalities. (shrink)
'Epistemic' theories of vagueness notoriously claim that (despite the appearances to the contrary) all of our vague terms have sharp boundaries, it's just that we can't know what they are. Epistemic theories are typically criticized for failing to explain (1) the source of the ignorance postulated, and (2) how our terms could come to have such precise boundaries. Both of these objections will, however, be shown to rest on certain 'presentist' assumptions about the relation between use and meaning, and if (...) allows that the meaning constitutive elements of our linguistic practices can extend into the future, the possibility of a new sort of 'normative epistemicism' emerges. (shrink)
There you are at the opera house. The soprano has just hit her high note – a glassshattering high C that fills the hall – and she holds it. She holds it. She holds it. She holds it. She holds it. She holds the note for such a long time that after a while a funny thing happens: you no longer seem only to hear it, the note as it is currently sounding, that glass-shattering high C that is loud and (...) high and pure. In addition, you also seem to hear something more. It is difficult to express precisely what this extra feature is. One is tempted to say, however, that the note now sounds like it has been going on for a very long time. Perhaps it even sounds like a note that has been going on for too long. In any event, what you hear no longer seems to be limited to the pitch, timbre, loudness, and other strictly audible qualities of the note. You seem in addition to experience, even to hear, something about its temporal extent. (shrink)
Abstract Temporal Externalism is the view that future events can contribute to determining the present content of our thoughts and utterances. Two objections to Temporal Externalism are discussed and rejected. The first is that Temporal Externalism has implausible consequences for the epistemology of biology and other taxonomic sciences (Brown, 2000). The second is that it is committed to implausible claims about dispositions.
In ordinary conscious experience, consciousness of time seems to be ubiquitous. For example, we seem to be directly aware of change, movement, and succession across brief temporal intervals. How is this possible? Many different models of temporal consciousness have been proposed. Some philosophers have argued that consciousness is confined to a momentary interval and that we are not in fact directly aware of change. Others have argued that although consciousness itself is momentary, we are nevertheless conscious of change. (...) Still others have argued that consciousness is itself extended in time. In this entry, the motivations and merits of these and other positions will be expounded and assessed. (shrink)
Nonphilosophers, if they think of philosophy at all, wonder why people work in metaphysics. After all, metaphysics, as Auden once said of poetry, makes nothing happen.1 Yet some very intelligent people are driven to spend their lives exploring metaphysical theses. Part of what motivates metaphysicians is the appeal of grizzly puzzles (like the paradox of the heap or the puzzle of the ship of Theseus). But the main reason to work in metaphysics, for me at least, is to understand the (...) shared world that we all encounter and interact with. And the shared world that we all encounter includes us self-conscious beings and our experience. The world that we inhabit is unavoidably a temporal world: the signing of the Declaration of Independence is later than the Lisbon earthquake; the Cold War is in the past; your death is in the future. There is no getting away from time. (shrink)
We all know what it is like to have these sorts of experiences. Reflection on the qualitative character of such experiences suggests that events occurring now have a characteristic property of nowness, responsible for a certain special “feel,” and that events pass from the future, to the present, and then into the past. The question I want to explore is whether we should take this suggestion to support an antireductionist ontology of time, that is, whether we should take it to (...) support an ontology that includes a primitive, monadic property of nowness responsible for the special feel of events in the present, and a relation of passage that events instantiate in virtue of literally passing from the future, to the present, and then into the past. It will be important in what follows to avoid prejudging whether the world actually does include nowness and passage, so I’ll use the locution “as of” instead of just “of” when I want to signal that descriptions like “experience as of passage” merely describe experiences with a certain qualitative character. It should be obvious that we need to take temporal experience seriously: experiences as of nowness and as of the passage of events are central to our subjective perspective. In some deep but hard to define way, our temporal experience is caught up with our sense of being, i.e., our sense of what we are and how we are. (Heidegger engages this idea in his Being.. (shrink)
I first distinguish several notions that have traditionally been conflated (or otherwise neglected) in discussions of the metaphysics of time. Thus, for example, I distinguish between the passage of time and temporal becoming. The former is, I maintain, a confused notion that does not represent a feature of the world; whereas a proper understanding of the latter provides the key for a plausible and comprehensive account of the nature of temporal reality. There are two general classes of views (...) of the nature of temporal reality; proponents of particular views in both classes attempt to account for the phenomenon of temporal becoming in terms of qualitative change. I argue that any such account – in terms of change – is irredeemably problematic. And so I propound a different account of temporal becoming, based on the notion that temporal reality is transient, which provides the means to characterize intuitively and vividly the significant effects of time on the metaphysical nature of the world. (shrink)
Temporal parts are analogous to spatial parts: just as the conference has one spatial part which occupies the seminar room, and another which occupies the lecture hall, it has one temporal part which ‘occupies’ Friday and another which ‘occupies’ Saturday. These temporal parts of the conference have half-hour coffee-breaks as temporal parts of their own; these coffee-breaks are also temporal parts of the whole conference.
This paper focuses on normative questions about intertemporal distribution that might seem parallel to more familiar questions about interpersonal distribution. Temporal neutrality is the claim that the temporal location of benefits and harms within a life should not affect their normative significance and implies that agents should have equal concern for all parts of their lives. I focus on temporal neutrality as a demand of prudence. A traditional rationale for temporal neutrality appeals to the idea of (...) compensation: whereas there is no automatic interpersonal compensation for sacrifice, because benefactor and beneficiary are different people, intrapersonal compensation is automatic, because benefactor and beneficiary are the same person. This is why sacrifice of one's present interests for the sake of one's later greater good is a paradigm of rationality. Despite the hegemony of temporal neutrality, it appears to have some counter-intuitive implications -- it may seem to be undermined by reductionist accounts of personal identity, it may seem to compromise fidelity to one's ideals in cases involving diachronic changes of personal ideals, it may seem committed to problematic assumptions about the symmetry of death and prenatal nonexistence, and it might suggest that our apparent preference for pain being in the past is irrational when the alternative would be a smaller future pain. I consider these objections to temporal neutrality and argue that its normative and metaphysical commitments are surprisingly robust. (shrink)
Jason Stanley has argued recently that Epistemic Contextualism (EC) and Subject-Sensitive Invariantism (SSI) are explanatorily on a par with regard to certain data arising from modal and temporal embeddings of ‘knowledge’-ascriptions. This paper argues against Stanley that EC has a clear advantage over SSI in the discussed field and introduces a new type of linguistic datum strongly suggesting the falsity of SSI.
The confusion surrounding Heidegger's account of death in Being and Time has led to severe criticisms, some of which dismiss his analysis as incoherent and obtuse. I argue that Heidegger's critics err by equating Heidegger's concept of death with our ordinary concept. As I show, Heidegger's concept of death is not the same as the ordinary meaning of the term, namely, the event that ends life. But nor does this concept merely denote the finitude of Dasein's possibilities or the groundlessness (...) of existence, as William Blattner and Hubert Dreyfus have suggested. Rather, I argue, the concept of death has to be understood both as temporal finitude and as finitude of possibility. I show how this reading addresses the criticisms directed at Heidegger's death analysis as well as solving textual problems generated by more limited interpretations of the concept. (shrink)
This book is a systematic reconstruction of Heidegger's account of time and temporality in Being and Time. The author locates Heidegger in a tradition of 'temporal idealism' with its sources in Plotinus, Leibniz, and Kant. For Heidegger, time can only be explained in terms of 'originary temporality', a concept integral to his ontology. Blattner sets out not only the foundations of Heidegger's ontology, but also his phenomenology of the experience of time. Focusing on a neglected but central aspect of (...) Being and Time, this book will be of considerable interest to all students of Heidegger both inside and outside philosophy. (shrink)
Philosophers have long struggled to understand our perceptual experience of temporal properties such as succession, persistence and change. Indeed, strikingly, a number have felt compelled to deny that we enjoy such experience. Philosophical puzzlement arises as a consequence of assuming that, if one experiences succession or temporal structure at all, then one experiences it at a moment. The two leading types of theory of temporal awareness—specious present theories and memory theories—are best understood as attempts to explain how (...)temporal awareness is possible within the constraints of this principle. I argue that the principle is false. Neither theory of temporal awareness can be made workable unless it is rejected. Our experience of temporal phenomena cannot be understood if we attempt to break experience down into instantaneous slices. In order to understand the perception of temporal properties we must look beyond the instant. (shrink)
I begin by brieﬂy mentioning two different logical fatalistic argument types: one from temporal necessity, and one from antecedent truth value. It is commonly thought that the latter of these involves a simple modal fallacy and is easily refuted, and that the former poses the real threat to an open future. I question the conventional wisdom regarding these argument types, and present an analysis of temporal necessity that suggests the anti-fatalist might be better off shifting her argumentative strategy. (...) Speciﬁcally, two points of interest emerge from my analysis: ﬁrst, temporal necessity turns out to be an inappropriate and ineffective tool for the fatalist to make use of; and, second, the dismissal of the argument from antecedent truth value turns out to be an over-hasty one. (shrink)
What is a temporal part? Most accounts explain it in terms of timeless parthood: a thing's having a part without temporal qualification. Some find this hard to understand, and thus find the view that persisting things have temporal parts—four-dimensionalism—unintelligible. T. Sider offers to help by defining temporal parthood in terms of a thing's having a part at a time. I argue that no such account can capture the notion of a temporal part that figures in (...) orthodox four-dimensionalism: temporal parts must be timeless parts. This enables us to state four-dimensionalism more clearly. (shrink)
I argue that relations between non-identical times, such as the relations, earlier than, later than, or 10 seconds apart, involve contradiction, and only co-temporal relations are non-contradictory, which would leave presentism the only non-contradictory theory of time. The arguments I present are arguments that I have not seen in the literature.
I have argued elsewhere that our conception of phenomenal consciousness commits us to simple phenomenal experiences that in some sense constitute our complex experiences. In this paper I argue that the temporal boundaries of simple phenomenal experiences cannot be conceived as fuzzy or vague, but must be conceived as instantaneous or maximally sharp. The argument is based on an account of what is involved in conceiving fuzzy temporally boundaries for events generally. If the argument is right, and our conception (...) of phenomenal consciousness is assumed to reflect the facts about consciousness, then since the temporal boundaries of neurophysiological events can be conceived as fuzzy, considerable pressure can be applied to neurophysiological identity theories, as well as to dualist accounts that posit temporal correspondence with neurophysiological events. (shrink)
This paper argues that, in light of certain scenarios involving time travel, Sider’s definition of ‘instantaneous temporal part’ cannot be accepted in conjunction with a semantic thesis that perdurantists often assume. I examine a rejoinder from Sider, as well as Thomson’s alternative definition of ‘instantaneous temporal part’, and show how neither helps. Given this, we should give up on the perdurantist semantic thesis. I end by recommending that, once we no longer accept such semantics, we should accept a (...) new set of definitions, which are superior in certain respects to Sider’s original set. (shrink)
In this paper I respond to the view that Heidegger is unable to account for the possibility of immediately experiencing others in their concrete particularity. Critics have argued that since Mitsein characterizes Dasein’s mode of being regardless of the presence or absence of others, Heidegger has essentially granted it the status of an a priori category. In doing so, they argue, Heidegger reduces the other to a mere interchangeable token whose uniqueness is subsumed under the generality of the established category. (...) In contrast, I argue that the Heideggerian ‘a priori’ must be understood as a living responsiveness to particularity, not a top-down imposition of abstract categoriality. The argument further shows that this responsiveness must be understood in terms of temporal particularity. The bulk of the paper then demonstrates the nature of such responsiveness when it is the temporal particularity of the other Dasein that is being encountered. I show that such encounters are a necessary condition for the possibility of world time and the worldly space of shared significance. Because my encounter with the other Dasein is a direct experience of her originary temporality—the fundamental expression of her concrete care-defined way of being—such encounters are not simple subsumptions of the other to an a priori category. They are, rather, a temporal responsiveness to the unique mode of intuitive givenness characterizing other Dasein. (shrink)
Very little has been written in recent decades about the temporal nature of art. The two principal explanations provided by our Western cultural tradition are that art is timeless (`eternal') or that it belongs within the world of historical change. Neither account offers a plausible explanation of the world of art as we know it today, which contains large numbers of works which are self-evidently not timeless because they have been resurrected after long periods of oblivion with significances quite (...) different from those which they originally held, and which also seem to have escaped history because, though long-forgotten, they have `come alive' again for us today. In his two key works on the theory of art, "Les Voix du silence" and "La Métamorphose des dieux", André Malraux offers an entirely new account of the temporal nature of art based on the concept of metamorphosis. Unlike the traditional explanations, Malraux's account makes sense of the world of art as we now know it. He revolutionizes our understanding of the relationship between art and time. (shrink)
The following quotation, from Frank Jackson, is the beginning of a typical exposition of the debate between those metaphysicians who believe in temporal parts, and those who do not: The dispute between three-dimensionalism and four-dimensionalism, or more precisely, that part of the dispute we will be concerned with, concerns what persistence, and correllatively, what change, comes to. Three-dimensionalism holds that an object exists at a time by being wholly present at that time, and, accordingly, that it persists if it (...) is wholly present at more than one time. For short, it persists by enduring. Four-dimensionalism holds that an object exists at a time by having a temporal part at that time, and it persists if it has distinct temporal parts at more than one time. For short, it persists by perduring (Jackson 1998, p. 138). In the light of these comments, some readers will perhaps ﬁnd the question that forms the title of this paper a little puzzling. They may have learned to use the terms ‘fourdimensionalism’ ‘perdurantism’ and ‘belief in temporal parts’ interchangeably; or perhaps even to deﬁne one in terms of the other. Such a usage, however, is inapposite. We might imagine a Flatland-like world of two spatial dimensions and one temporal, whose philosophers are divided between a theory of persistence on which they persist by having temporal parts, and a theory on which they persist by being wholly located in each of several times. This is just the same issue we face, but at least the label ‘four-dimensionalism’ seems inapposite: the four-dimensionalist Flatlanders believe in only three dimensions! (shrink)
Theories of binding have recently come into the focus of the consciousness debate. In this review, we discuss the potential relevance of temporal binding mechanisms for sensory awareness. Specifically, we suggest that neural synchrony with a precision in the millisecond range may be crucial for conscious processing, and may be involved in arousal, perceptual integration, attentional selection and working memory. Recent evidence from both animal and human studies demonstrates that specific changes in neuronal synchrony occur during all of these (...) processes and that they are distinguished by the emergence of fast oscillations with frequencies in the gamma-range. (shrink)
The notion of the absolute time-constituting flow plays a central role in Edmund Husserl’s analysis of our consciousness of time. I offer a novel reading of Husserl’s remarks on the absolute flow, on which Husserl can be seen to be grappling with two key intuitions that are still at the centre of current debates about temporal experience. One of them is encapsulated by what is sometimes referred to as an intentionalist (as opposed to an extensionalist) approach to temporal (...) experience. The other centres on the thought that temporal experience itself necessarily unfolds over time. I show how some of Husserl’s more enigmatic-sounding remarks about the absolute flow become intelligible if they are read as attempts to accommodate both these intuitions at the same time. However, I also question whether Husserl ultimately provides good reasons for preferring his intentionalist approach to a rival extensionalist one. (shrink)
The paper develops an objection to the extensional model of time consciousness—the view that temporally extended events or processes, and their temporal properties, can be directly perceived as such. Importantly, following James, advocates of the extensional model typically insist that whole experiences of temporal relations between non-simultaneous events are distinct from mere successions of their temporal parts. This means, presumably, that there ought to be some feature(s) differentiating the former from the latter. I try to show why (...) the extensional models offers no credible ground for positing such a difference. (shrink)
As cognitive science, including especially cognitive neuroscience, closes in on the first realistic models of the human mind, philosophical puzzles and problems that have been conveniently postponed or ignored for generations are beginning to haunt the efforts of the scientists, confounding their vision and leading them down hopeless paths of theory. I will illustrate this claim with a brief look at several temporal phenomena which appear anomalous only because of a cognitive illusion: an illusion about the point of view (...) of the observerix. Since there is no point in the brain where "it all comes together," several compelling oversimplifications of traditional theorizing must be abandoned. (shrink)
It is a common assumption in the metaphysics of time that a commitment to presentism entails a commitment to serious presentism, the view that objects can exemplify properties or stand in relations only at times at which they exist. As a result, non-serious presentism is widely thought to be beyond the bounds for the card-carrying presentist in response to the problem of cross-temporal relations. In this paper, I challenge this general consensus by examining one common argument in favor of (...) the thesis that presentism entails serious presentism. The argument, I claim, begs the question against non-serious defenders in failing to account for their wider metaontological views concerning non-committal quantification. (shrink)
The only obligatory temporal expression in English is tense, yet Hans Reichenbach (1947) has argued convincingly that the simplest sentence is understood in terms of three temporal notions. Additional possibilities for a simple sentence are limited: English sentences have one time adverbial each. It is not immediately clear how to resolve these matters, that is, how (if at all) Reichenbach's account can be reconciled with the facts of English. This paper attempts to show that they can be reconciled, (...) and presents an analysis of temporal specification that is based directly on Reichenbach's account.Part I is devoted to a study of the way the three times—speech time, reference time, event time—are realized and interpreted. The relevant syntactic structures and their interaction and interpretation are examined in detail. Part II discusses how a grammar should deal with time specification, and proposes a set of interpretive rules. The study offers an analysis of simple sentences, sentences with complements, and habitual sentences. It is shown that tense and adverbials function differently, depending on the structure in which they appear. The temporal system is relational: the orientation and values of temporal expressions are not fixed, but their relational values are consistent. This consistency allows the statement of principles of interpretation. (shrink)
The thesis that a temporal asymmetry of counterfactual dependence characterizes our world plays a central role in Lewis’s philosophy, as. among other things, it underpins one of Lewis most renowned theses—that causation can be analyzed in terms of counterfactual dependence. To maintain that a temporal asymmetry of counterfactual dependence characterizes our world, Lewis committed himself to two other theses. The first is that the closest possible worlds at which the antecedent of a counterfactual conditional is true is one (...) in which a small miracle occurs—i.e. one whose laws differ from the actual laws in a small spatiotemporal region. The second is that our world is characterized by a temporal asymmetry of miracles. In this paper, I will argue, first, that the latter thesis is either false or incompatible with the picture of the relations among temporal asymmetries endorsed by Lewis and, second, that former thesis conflicts with some of the intuitions which seem to guide us when engaging in counterfactual reasoning. If there is any fact of the matter as to which possible worlds in which the antecedent of a counterfactual conditional is true are closest to the actual world, these are not worlds at which a small miracle occurs. (shrink)
Some of the most important contributions over the past two decades to understanding Heidegger's thought have been made by philosophers writing in English and sharing the broad perspective of analytic – or, perhaps better, “post-analytic” – philosophy. With Heidegger's Temporal Idealism, William Blattner has moved this approach several important steps forward. Like others in this recent movement, he interprets Heidegger not so much in the terms of existentialism or post-structuralism, as in those of the later Wittgenstein, classical American pragmatism, (...) and neo-pragmatism. Also like other Anglo-American interpretations of Heidegger, Blattner's (1.) focuses primarily on the Sein und Zeit era; (2.) tends to steer away from Heidegger's analysis of authenticity and toward his analysis of Dasein's everydayness; (3.) accords an especially large role to Being-with (Mitsein) and the They (das Man) in the constitution of everyday meaning; and (4.) is particularly concerned with developing a view of the foundation of “mind” and scientific knowledge in the practical abilities of Dasein as Being-in-the-world. Given the obvious centrality of time in SZ, it is surprising that there have been relatively few concerted attempts to critically explicate Heidegger's view of it. Blattner's book fills this gap by focusing on Heidegger's interpretation of Dasein's “originary temporality”, as explicated in Division Two of SZ. (shrink)
Arguments about temporal becoming often get nowhere. One reason for the impasse lies in the fact that the issue has been formulated as a choice between science on the one hand and common sense (or ordinary language) on the other as the primary source of ontological commitment.' Often' proponents of attributing temporal becoming to the physical universe look to everyday temporal concepts, find them infested with notions involving temporal becoming and conclude that becoming is a basic (...) feature of the physical world. Their opponents may look to physical science, find no reference to temporal becoming and conclude that becoming is not part of the extramental universe.2 Thus construed, the issue of temporal becoming is not directly amenable to argument. This stalemate will be broken, however, if I accomplish my aim: to (re)formulate the question of temporal becoming so that it is subject to adjudication; to show how objections to the thesis of the mind-dependence of becoming can fruitfully be seen (and in a sense unified) as attacks on a single argument for the thesis, an argument from physics; and to defend the con'elusion of the argument from physics from heretofore unanswered objections. The question of the status of temporal becoming is the question of the status of past, present and future.' Events which are at one time in the future, are said to become present and subsequently to recede into the past. Since past and future can be defined as 'earlier than now' and 'later than.. (shrink)
van Bentham et al. (Merging frameworks for interaction: DEL and ETL, 2007) provides a framework for generating the models of Epistemic Temporal Logic ( ETL : Fagin et al., Reasoning about knowledge, 1995; Parikh and Ramanujam, Journal of Logic, Language, and Information, 2003) from the models of Dynamic Epistemic Logic ( DEL : Baltag et al., in: Gilboa (ed.) Tark 1998, 1998; Gerbrandy, Bisimulations on Planet Kripke, 1999). We consider the logic TDEL on the merged semantic framework, and its (...) extension with the labeled past-operator “ P ϵ ” (“The event ϵ has happened before which. . .”). To axiomatize the extension, we introduce a method for transforming a given model into a normal form in a suitable sense. These logics suggest further applications of DEL in the theory of agency, the theory of learning, etc. (shrink)
Cognitive functions like perception, memory, language, or consciousness are based on highly parallel and distributed information processing by the brain. One of the major unresolved questions is how information can be integrated and how coherent representational states can be established in the distributed neuronal systems subserving these functions. It has been suggested that this so-called ''binding problem'' may be solved in the temporal domain. The hypothesis is that synchronization of neuronal discharges can serve for the integration of distributed neurons (...) into cell assemblies and that this process may underlie the selection of perceptually and behaviorally relevant information. As we intend to show here, this temporal binding hypothesis has implications for the search of the neural correlate of consciousness. We review experimental results, mainly obtained in the visual system, which support the notion of temporal binding. In particular, we discuss recent experiments on the neural mechanisms of binocular rivalry which suggest that appropriate synchronization among cortical neurons may be one of the necessary conditions for the buildup of perceptual states and awareness of sensory stimuli. (shrink)
We experience time in different ways, and we construct different kinds of representation of time. What kinds of representation are there and how do they work? In particular, how do we integrate temporal features of the world into our understanding of the mechanisms underlying representations in the media of perception, memory, art, and narrative? Le Poidevin’s well written and carefully argued book is an exploration of these questions. Although interesting in its own right, Le Poidevin pursues this question as (...) a means of exploring another pressing issue, namely the metaphysics of time. The central posit of the book is that we can learn a lot about time from ordinary representations of time, and accordingly the book is an exploration of what representations of time can tell us about the metaphysical structure of time itself. This viewpoint is justified by the adoption of a causal theory of representation, the claim that representations are causally linked to what they represent and that this is what determines both their content and their epistemic status. The central metaphysical concern of the book is the reality of the passage of time. Does time in reality pass, and can events therefore be located in the past, present, or future, or does time not pass and nothing in reality changes its position in time? In McTaggart’s terms, this is the distinction between the A-theory and the B- theory of time. (shrink)
Alternating-time temporal logic (ATL) is a branching time temporal logic in which statements about what coalitions of agents can achieve by strategic cooperation can be expressed. Alternating-time temporal epistemic logic (ATEL) extends ATL by adding knowledge modalities, with the usual possible worlds interpretation. This paper investigates how properties of agents’ actions can be expressed in ATL in general, and how properties of the interaction between action and knowledge can be expressed in ATEL in particular. One commonly discussed (...) property is that an agent should know about all available actions, i.e., that the same actions should be available in indiscernible states. Van der Hoek and Wooldridge suggest a syntactic expression of this semantic property. This paper shows that this correspondence in fact does not hold. Furthermore, it is shown that the semantic property is not expressible in ATEL at all. In order to be able to express common and interesting properties of action in general and of the interaction between action and knowledge in particular, a generalization of the coalition modalities of ATL is proposed. The resulting logics, ATL-A and ATEL-A, have increased expressiveness without loosing ATL’s and ATEL’s tractability of model checking. (shrink)
The English perfect involves two fundamental components of meaning: a truth-conditional one involving temporal notions and a current relevance presupposition best expressed in terms drawn from the analysis of modality. The proposal made here draws much for the Extended Now theory (McCoard 1978 and others), but improves on it by showing that many aspects of the perfect's meaning may be factored out into independent semantic or pragmatic principles.
Two extremely detailed accounts of temporal experience can be found in the work of C. D. Broad. These accounts have been subject to considerable criticism. I argue that, when we look more carefully at Broad’s work, we find that much of this criticism fails to find its target. I show that the objection that ultimately proves troubling for Broad stems from his commitment to two principles: i) the Thin-PSA, and ii) the ‘Overlap’ claim. I use this result to demonstrate (...) that we can learn two extremely important lessons from Broad’s work on temporal experience. -/- The first lesson is that there is a structural problem facing any account that commits to these two principles. This is significant given that a number of recent accounts of temporal experience are so committed. The second lesson is that the problem facing these accounts stems only from commitment to the Thin-PSA and ‘Overlap’, rather than to commitment to a particular conception of how experiences are to be individuated. This, I argue, gives us reason to reject Tye’s recent claim that the problems facing accounts of temporal experience can be dissolved simply by making stipulations about how experiences are to be individuated. (shrink)
The theory of belief revision deals with (rational) changes in beliefs in response to new information. In the literature a distinction has been drawn between belief revision and belief update (see ). The former deals with situations where the objective facts describing the world do not change (so that only the beliefs of the agent change over time), while the letter allows for situations where both the facts and the doxastic state of the agent change over time. We focus on (...) belief revision and propose a temporal framework that allows for iterated revision. We model the notion of “minimal” or “conservative” belief revision by considering logics of increasing strength. We move from one logic to the next by adding one or more axioms and show that the corresponding logic captures more stringent notions of minimal belief revision. The strongest logic that we propose provides a full axiomatization of the well-known AGM theory of belief revision. (shrink)
In this paper, I try to make a bundle theory of objects consistentwith a temporal parts theory of object persistence. To that end,I propose that such bundles are made up of tropes includingthe co-instantiation relation.
This article presents an account of temporal understanding in Mandarin Chinese. Aspectual, lexical, and adverbial information, and pragmatic principles all contribute to the interpretation of temporal location. Aspectual viewpoint and situation type give information in the absence of explicit temporal forms. The main, default pattern of interpretation is deictic. The pragmatic principles are the Bounded Event Constraint, the Simplicity Principle of Interpretation, and the Temporal Schema Principle. Lexical and adverbial information can lead to non-default interpretations. Two (...) other temporal patterns, narrative dynamism and anaphora, appear in text passages that realize the 'discourse modes' of narrative and description. (shrink)
According to the doctrine of four-dimensionalism, our world and everything in it consists of stages or temporal parts; moreover, where an object exists at various times, it does so, according to the four-dimensionalist, in virtue of having distinct temporal parts at those times. While four-dimensionalism is often motivated by its purported solutions to puzzles about material objects and their persistence through time, it has also been defended by more direct arguments. Three such arguments stand out: (1) the argument (...) from temporary intrinsics, (2) the argument from vagueness and (3) the argument from recombination, Humean supervenience and causal constraints. Not surprisingly, each of these arguments originates in the work of four-dimensionalism’s most prominent modern defender, David Lewis.1 The third of these arguments has received, by far, the least attention, critical or otherwise; it is now time to begin to address this imbalance. (shrink)
Welfare is at least occasionally a temporal phenomenon: welfare benefits befall me at certain times. But this fact seems to present a problem for a desire-satisfaction view. Assume that I desire, at 10am, January 12th, 2010, to climb Mount Everest sometime during 2012. Also assume, however, that during 2011, my desires undergo a shift: I no longer desire to climb Mount Everest during 2012. In fact, I develop an aversion to so doing. Imagine, however, that despite my aversion, I (...) am forced to climb Mount Everest. Does climbing Mount Everest benefit me? If so, when? A natural answer seems to be that if in fact it does benefit me, it benefits me at no particular time, and hence the desire-satisfaction view cannot accommodate the phenomenon of temporal welfare. In this paper, I argue, first, that a desire-satisfaction view can accommodate the phenomenon of temporal welfare only by accepting what I call the “time-of-desire” view: that p benefits x at t only if x desires p at t . Second, I argue that this view can be defended from important objections. (shrink)
David Malament tried to show that the causal theory of time leads to a unique determination of simultaneity relative to an inertial observer, namely standard simultaneity. I show that the causal relation Malament uses in his proofs, causal connectibility, should be replaced by a different causal relation, the one used by Reichenbach in his formulation of the theory. I also explain why Malament's reliance on the assumption that the observer has an eternal inertial history modifies our conception of simultaneity, and (...) I therefore eliminate it. Having made these changes, Malament's uniqueness result no longer follows, although the conventionality of simultaneity is not reinstated. I contrast my approach with previous criticisms of Malament. Introduction Causality and Temporal Order Malament's Argument Causality versus Causal Connectibility Simultaneity and History Conclusion. (shrink)
In all languages, sentences convey information that allows people to locate situations in time. Languages vary: some have tense and tense-like forms, others do not. I will suggest general pragmatic principles to account for how temporal location works in language. The principles have different realizations according to the forms that are syntactically obligatory in a given language.
We introduce the Relational Blockworld (RBW) as a paradigm for deflating the mysteries associated with quantum non-separability/non-locality and the measurement problem. We begin by describing how the relativity of simultaneity implies the blockworld, which has an explanatory potential subsuming both dynamical and relational explanations. It is then shown how the canonical commutation relations fundamental to non-relativistic quantum mechanics follow from the relativity of simultaneity. Therefore, quantum mechanics has at its disposal the full explanatory power of the blockworld. Quantum mechanics exploits (...) this expanded explanatory capability since event distributions among detectors per the density matrix follow from spacetime relations (symmetry group) alone. Thus, the event distributions of non-relativistic quantum mechanics follow from a blockworld wherein spacetime relations are fundamental. Per RBW "quantum mysteries" are deflated and the implications for consciousness and the perception of temporal flow and absolute becoming are explored. We conclude that given RBW, consciousness is no less fundamental than any "physical" feature of the world such as brain states. Further, active consciousness is needed to explain the illusion that it is a dynamical world and consciousness in its most fundamental state is relational and non-local. (shrink)
Prior's three-valued modal logic Q was developed as a philosophically interesting modal logic. Thus, we should be able to modify Q as a temporal logic. Although a temporal version of Q was suggested by Prior, the subject has not been fully explored in the literature. In this paper, we develop a three-valued temporal logic $Q_t $ and give its axiomatization and semantics. We also argue that $Q_t $ provides a smooth solution to the problem of future contingents.
G. H. von Wright proposed that a temporal interval exemplifies a real contradiction if at least one part of any division of this interval involves the presence of contradictorily related (though non-simultaneous) states. In connection with intervals, two negations must be discerned: 'does not hold at an interval' and 'fails throughout an interval'. Von Wright did not distinguish the two. As a consequence, he made a mistake in indicating how to use his logical symbolism to express the notion of (...) real contradiction. The present paper aims to reconstruct and philosophically motivate von Wright's argument for the possibility of real contradictions. (shrink)
This paper presents a formal account of how to determine the discourse relations between propositions introduced in a text, and the relations between the events they describe. The distinct natural interpretations of texts with similar syntax are explained in terms of defeasible rules. These characterise the effects of causal knowledge and knowledge of language use on interpretation. Patterns of defeasible entailment that are supported by the logic in which the theory is expressed are shown to underly temporal interpretation.
It has long been recognized that temporal anaphora in French and English depends on the aspectual distinction between events and states. For example, temporal location as well as temporal update depends on the aspectual type. This paper presents a general theory of aspect-based temporal anaphora, which extends from languages with grammatical tenses (like French and English) to tenseless languages (e.g. Kalaallisut). This theory also extends to additional aspect-dependent phenomena and to non-atomic aspectual types, processes and habits, (...) which license anaphora to proper atomic parts (cf. nominal pluralities and kinds). (shrink)
We suggest that developing automata theoretic foundations is relevant for knowledge theory, so that we study not only what is known by agents, but also the mechanisms by which such knowledge is arrived at. We define a class of epistemic automata , in which agents’ local states are annotated with abstract knowledge assertions about others. These are finite state agents who communicate synchronously with each other and information exchange is ‘perfect’. We show that the class of recognizable languages has good (...) closure properties, leading to a Kleene-type theorem using what we call regular knowledge expressions . These automata model distributed causal knowledge in the following way: each agent in the system has a partial knowledge of the temporal evolution of the system, and every time agents synchronize, they update each other’s knowledge, resulting in a more up-to-date view of the system state. Hence we show that these automata can be used to solve the satisfiability problem for a natural epistemic temporal logic for local properties. Finally, we characterize the class of languages recognized by epistemic automata as the regular consistent languages studied in concurrency theory. (shrink)
In view of the primacy assigned to the 'present' in traditional metaphysics, in terms of the ways in which questions about existence are expressed, the following discussion takes the question of the temporalizing of the present as its theme. This involves unravelling the historical traces of the thought of the present as a finite, closed, objective point of a successive continuum of discrete moments (a real oscillation between the now and the not-now) by returning to the phenomenological sense of the (...) present as the stretching out of an opening – the 'living Present' (lebendige Gegenwart) – which bears its continuity of presence and non-presence within itself (without restriction to linearity). The transition itself suggests something like a quantum-leap and, in another sense, it also extends beyond the bounds of this simile (and the discontinuity that is implied) by evoking the image of a 'twist' or a 'turn.’ In order to grasp the significance of this turn we shall first examine – re turn to – its main obstacle: the concept of time as a linear and corpuscular continuum. The traditional model of time as a succession of 'now-points' (a notion that 1 still infects discourse on temporality) has always undermined our understanding of 'presence' as that which maintains itself (abides) through succession. In effect, presence must be 'maintained' [maintenant] within the 'now.' Yet, if the 'now' is constantly shifting into non-being through its replacement by a new 'now' then presence must be infused with its own negation and a certain discontinuity. How is it possible, then, to speak of the 'persistence' of 'identity' as something unitary (simultaneous with itself) existing through plurality and successive fragmentation into non-being? Furthermore, in reference to motion, what is entailed in the possibility of experiencing the transition of a selfsame (particular) object from one spatial location to another: how is it that the object 'endures' through its spatial and temporal transition? Since antiquity the question of simultaneity has been taken for granted – generally being consigned to mere spatial models.. (shrink)
Kant, in various parts of his treatment of causality, refers to determinism or the principle of sufficient reason as an inescapable principle. In fact, in the Second Analogy we find the elements to reconstruct a purely phenomenal determinism as a logical and tautological truth. I endeavour in this article to gather these elements into an organic theory of phenomenal causality and then show, in the third section, with a specific argument which I call the “paradox of phenomenal observation”, that this (...) phenomenal determinism is the only rational approach to causality because any logico-reductivistic approach, such as the Humean one, would destroy the temporal order and so the very possibility to talk of a causal relation. I also believe that, all things said, Kant did not achieve a much greater comprehension of the problem than Hume did, in his theory of causality, for he did not free a phenomenal approach from the impasse of reductivism as his reflections on “simultaneous causation” and “vanishing quantities” indeed show, and this I will argue in Sect. 4 of this article. (shrink)
This paper proposes a method for computing the temporal aspects of the interpretations of a variety of Germa sentences. The method is strictly modular in the sense that it allows each meaning-bearing sentence constituent to make its own, separate, contribution to the semantic representation of any sentence containing it. The semantic representation of a sentence is reached in several stages. First, an ‘initial semantic representation’ is constructed, using a syntactic analysis of the sentence as input. This initial representation is (...) then transformed into the definitive representation by a series of transformations which reflect the ways in which the contributions from different constituents of the sentence interact. Since the different constituents which make their respective contributions to the meaning of the sentence are in most instances ambiguous, the initial representations are typically of a high degree of underspecification. (shrink)
In the first part we consider some difficulties that arise as we move from the analysis of spatio- temporal regions to that of their natural occupants, such as physical bodies or events. In the second part we focus on the latter and we give a refined formulation of our argument to the effect that the temporal dimension can be directly construed from a domain of events in terms of the basic mereotopological relations of parthood and boundary.
In this paper, I examine the syntax-semantics of subjunctive clauses in (Modern) Greek. These clauses are headed by the particle na and contain a dependent verbal form with no formal mood features: the perfective nonpast (PNP). I propose that the semantics of na is temporal: it introduces the variable now (n) into the syntax. This is necessary because the apparent present tense in the PNP cannot introduce n. The PNP, instead, contains a dependent time variable. This variable cannot be (...) interpreted as a free variable – hence it cannot be identified with the utterance time of the context. This analysis relies on two premises. One is the (quite influential) idea that pronouns and tenses are analogous creatures (Partee 1973, 1984, Heim 1998, Kratzer 1998, and others). The other premise is that at least some polarity items are expressions that contain variables that cannot be interpreted deictically (Giannakidou 1998, 2001). In the present work I suggest to enlarge the domain of phenomena that can receive a unified treatment across individuals, worlds, and tenses, and treat the subjunctive mood as a non-deictic time, thus an instance of a polarity dependency of the temporal kind. It is my hope that the analysis proposed here for the PNP can be used to analyze verbal subjunctives in Romance languages, and perhaps also infinitival forms in English, but investigation of this question will have be left for the future. (shrink)
Temporal externalists argue that ascriptions of thought and utterance content can legitimately reflect contingent conceptual developments that are only settled after the time of utterance. While the view has been criticized for failing to accord with our.
We present an axiomatisation for the first-order temporal logic with connectives Until and Since over the class of all linear flows of time. Completeness of the axiom system is proved.We also add a few axioms to find a sound and complete axiomatisation for the first order temporal logic of Until and Since over rational numbers time.
The traditional philosophical doctrine of double effect claims that agents’ intentions affect whether acts are morally wrong. Our behavioral study reveals that agents’ intentions do affect whether acts are judged morally wrong, whereas the temporal order of good and bad effects affects whether acts are classified as killings. This finding suggests that the moral judgments are not based on the classifications. Our results also undermine recent claims that prior moral judgments determine whether agents are seen as causing effects intentionally (...) rather than as side effects. (shrink)
The main task of this paper is to understand if and how static images like photographs can represent and/or depict temporal extension (duration). In order to do this, a detour will be necessary to understand some features of the nature of photographic representation and depiction in general. This important detour will enable us to see that photographs (can) have a narrative content, and that the skilled photographer can 'tell a story' in a very clear sense, as well as control (...) and guide the attention of the spectator of the photograph. The understanding and defence of this claim is a secondary aim of this paper, and it will then allow us to provide a good treatment of the particular case of photographic representation and depiction of temporal extension. (shrink)
This paper focuses on the interpretation of the Italian approximative adverb quasi ‘almost’ by primarily looking at cases in which it modifies temporal connectives, a domain which, to our knowledge, has been largely unexplored thus far. Consideration of this domain supports the need for a scalar account of the semantics of quasi (close in spirit to Hitzeman’s semantic analysis of almost, in: Canakis et al. (eds) Papers from the 28th regional meeting of the Chicago Linguistic Society, 1992). When paired (...) with suitable analyses of temporal connectives, such an account can provide a simple explanation of the patterns of implication that are observed when quasi modifies locational (e.g. quando ‘when’), directional (e.g. fino ‘until’ and da ‘since’), and event-sequencing temporal connectives (e.g. prima ‘before’ and dopo ‘after’). A challenging empirical phenomenon that is observed is a contrast between the modification of fino and da by quasi, on the one hand, and the modification of prima and dopo by the same adverb, on the other. While quasi fino and quasi da behave symmetrically, a puzzling asymmetry is observed between quasi prima and quasi dopo. To explain the asymmetry, we propose an analysis of prima and dopo on which the former has the meaning of the temporal comparative più presto ‘earlier’, while the latter is seen as an atomic predicate denoting temporal succession between events (Del Prete, Nat Lang Semantics 16:157–203, 2008). We show that the same pattern of implication observed for quasi prima is attested when quasi modifies overt comparatives, and propose a pragmatic analysis of this pattern that uniformly applies to both cases, thus providing new evidence for the claim that prima is underlyingly a comparative. A major point of this paper is a discussion of the notion of scale which is relevant for the semantics of quasi; in particular, we show that the notion of Horn (entailment-based) scale is not well-suited for handling modification of temporal connectives, and that a more general notion of scale is required in order to provide a uniform analysis of quasi as a cross-categorial modifier. (shrink)
An introduction to temporal parts theory. Most of us believe in spatial parts: hands are spatial parts of people, an electron is a spatial part of a hydrogen atom, the earth is a spatial part of the solar system. Why are these parts "spatial" parts? Because they are spatially smaller: the hand is spatially smaller than the person, the electron is spatially smaller than the atom, the earth is spatially smaller than the solar system. Temporal parts, then, are (...) parts that are temporally smaller. My current temporal part, "me-today", we might call it, is temporally smaller than me, since it exists today and only today. Temporal parts theory says that objects are made up of temporal as well as spatial parts. (shrink)
Temporal reference in natural language is inherently context dependent: what counts as a moment in one context may be structurally analysed in another context, and vice versa. In this note we show how the mereotopological apparatus developed elsewhere allows one to account for this phenomenon within the framework of event-based semantics.
What distinguishes a whole from an arbitrary sum of elements? I suggest a temporal and causal oriented approach. I defend two connected claims. The former is that existence is, by every means, coextensive with being the cause of a causal process. The latter is that a whole is the cause of a causal process with a joint effect. Thus, a whole is something that takes place in time. The approach endorses an unambiguous version of Restricted Composition that suits most (...) commonsensical intuitions about wholes. (shrink)
Future Logic is an original and wide-ranging treatise of formal logic. It deals with deduction and induction, of categorical and conditional propositions, involving the natural, temporal, extensional, and logical modalities. This is the first work ever to strictly formalize the inductive processes of generalization and particularization, through the novel methods of factorial analysis, factor selection and formula revision. This is the first work ever to develop a formal logic of the natural, temporal and extensional types of conditioning (as (...) distinct from logical conditioning), including their production from modal categorical premises. (shrink)
Yuri Balashov has argued that endurantism isuntenable in the context of Minkowskispacetime. Balashov's argument runs through twomain theses concerning the relation ofcoexistence, or temporal co-location. (1)Coexistence must turn out to be an absolute or objective matter; and inMinkowski spacetime coexistence must begrounded in the relation of spacelikeseparation. (2) If endurantism is true, then(1) leads to absurd conclusions; but ifperdurantism is true, then (1) is harmless. Iobject to both theses. Against (1), I arguethat coexistence is better construed as beingrelative to (...) a hyperplane of simultaneity.Against (2), I argue that the consequences of(1) given endurantism are no worse than theconsequences of (1) given perdurantism. (shrink)
The Doctrine of Temporal Parts (sometimes abbreviated herein as 'DTP') asserts that, for each portion (including infinitely small portions) of the smallest period of time during which a material object exists, there is an object-a temporal part of the material object in question-which exists at that and at no other time. In "Things Change," Mark Heller offers an argument for DTP, and responds to a objection, the "No-Change" objection, to that doctrine.2 My goal in this paper is to (...) undermine both Heller's argument in favor of DTP and his response to that criticism. (shrink)
When distinguishing absolute, true, and mathematical time from relative, apparent, and common time, Newton wrote: “absolute, true, and mathematical time, in and of itself and of its own nature, without reference to anything external, ﬂows uniformly” [Newton 2004b: 64]. Newton thought that the temporal metric is intrinsic. Many philosophers have argued—for empiricist reasons or otherwise—that Newton was wrong about the nature of time. They think that the ﬂow of time does involve “reference to something external.” They think that the (...)temporal metric is extrinsic. Among others, Mach, Poincaré, and Grünbaum seem to accept this view.1 And these are not the only two views available. Perhaps both Newton and his opponents are wrong and there is no temporal metric at all. (shrink)
We propose an ontological theory that is powerful enough to describe both complex spatio-temporal processes (occurrents) and the enduring entities (continuants) that participate therein. The theory is divided into two major categories of sub-theories: (sub-) theories of type SPAN and (sub-)theories of type SNAP. These theories represent two complementary perspectives on reality and result in distinct though compatible systems of categories. In SNAP we have enduring entities such as substances, qualities, roles, functions; in SPAN we have perduring entities such (...) as processes and their parts and aggregates. We argue that both kinds of ontological theory are required in order to give a non-reductionism account of complex domains of reality. (shrink)
I present a new problem for the tense realist concerning the evaluation of cross-temporal claims, such as ‘John is now taller than Michael was in 1984’. Time can play two different roles in the evaluation of an utterance of a sentence: either as an element that completes the content expressed by the utterance (the completion role), or as part of the circumstances against which the content is evaluated (the evaluation role). It is this latter role that time plays in (...) the realist view of tenses. I argue that if the content of a cross-temporal sentence is taken at face value (as an ascription of a crosstemporally instantiated relation), time does not play the evaluation role. Therefore, the world of the tense realist seems to leave no room for cross-temporality. (shrink)
Hegel's rejection of the Kantian thing-in-itself makes the "an sich" an ingredient in experience—that about a thing which is not yet present to us is what it is "an sich." Hegel bars thus any philosophical appeal to anything construed as atemporal, a path which I argue was also taken by Nietzsche, Foucault, Rorty, and Habermas. Unlike them, however, Hegel pursues a project of systematic philosophy, which now consists in showing how temporal things mutually support one another. The recent Continental (...) philosophers I discuss do not share this systematic conception; hence some of their most distinctive insights and problems. (shrink)
Validity of dynamic temporal reasoning is semantically characterized for Englishand Dutch aspectual adverbs in Discourse Representation Theory. This dynamicperspective determines how the content needs to be revised and what informationis preserved across updates, when the order of premises is considered relevant.Resetting contextual parameters relies on modelling the basic aspectual polaritytransitions and temporal reasoning extensionally. For intensional aspectual adverbialsthe speaker''s attitudes regarding past alternatives to and possible continuations of thecurrent state come into play. Additional considerations are offered for generalizing (...) thissystem to the full logical space for linguistic universals, lexicalized quite differently inDutch and English. (shrink)
This paper contributes data from Paraguayan Guaraní (Tupí-Guaraní) to the discussion of how temporal reference is determined in tenseless languages. The empirical focus of this study is on finite clauses headed by verbs inflected only for person/number information, which are compatible only with non-future temporal reference in most matrix clause contexts. The paper first explores the possibility of accounting for the temporal reference of such clauses with a phonologically empty non-future tense morpheme, along the lines of Matthewson’s (...) (Linguist Philos 29:673–713, 2006 ) analysis of a similar phenomenon in St’át’imcets (Salish). This analysis is then contrasted with one according to which temporal reference is not constrained by tense in Paraguayan Guaraní, but only by context and temporal adverbials. A comparison of the two analyses, both of which are couched in a dynamic semantic framework, suggests empirical and theoretical advantages of the tenseless analysis over the tensed one. The paper concludes with a discussion of cross-linguistic variation of temporal reference in tensed and tenseless languages. (shrink)
Hud Hudson has recently suggested a scenario intended to show that, assuming the doctrine of temporal parts and a sufficiently liberal view of composition, there are material objects that move faster than light. I accept Hudson's conditional but contend that his modus ponens is less plausible that the corresponding modus tollens. Reversed in this way, the argument stemming from the scenario raises the cost of mereological liberalism and advances the case for a principled restriction on diachronic composition.
For branching-time temporal logic based on an Ockhamist semantics, we explore a temporal language extended with two additional syntactic tools. For reference to the set of all possible futures at a moment of time we use syntactically designated restricted variables called fan-names. For reference to all possible futures alternative to the actual one we use a modification of a difference modality, localized to the set of all possible futures at the actual moment of time.We construct an axiomatic system (...) for this extended branching-time logic and prove its soundness and completeness with respect to bundle tree semantics. Finally, we show how our axiomatic system can be extended with a variety of important additional operators, such as Since and Until, a global difference operator, operators for undivided and divided histories, reference pointers, etc. (shrink)
In the first section of the chapter, I scrutinize Howard Stein’s 1991 definition of a transitive becoming relation that is Lorentz invariant. I argue first that Stein’s analysis gives few clues regarding the required characteristics of the relation complementary to his becoming—i.e. the relation of indefiniteness. It turns out that this relation cannot satisfy the condition of transitivity, and this fact can force us to reconsider the transitivity requirement as applied to the relation of becoming. I argue that the relation (...) of becoming need not be transitive, as long as it satisfies the weaker condition of “cumulativity”: for a given observer the area of the events that have become real should not diminish as time progresses. I show that there are actually two relations of becoming that meet this weakened condition: Stein’s (transitive) relation of causal past connectibility and the (non-transitive) relation that is the logical complement of the future causal connectibility. In the second part of the chapter I defend Stein’s notion of temporal becoming against the attack that appeals to quantum-mechanical non-locality. I critically evaluate the argument given by Mauro Dorato (1996) that purports to show that space-like separated measurements done on the EPR system have to be mutually determinate. Finally, in order to account for the truth of counterfactual statements that link the space-like separated outcomes, I propose a dynamic conception of becoming, according to which the sphere of determinate events as of a given point may depend on the physical phenomena transpiring at this point. (shrink)
The idea that temporal propositions are vague predicates is examined with attention to the nature of the objects over which the predicates range. These objects should not, it is argued, be identified once and for all with points or intervals in the real line (or any fixed linear order). Context has an important role to play not only in sidestepping the Sorites paradox (Gaifman 2002) but also in shaping temporal moments/extent (Landman 1991). The Russell-Wiener construction of time from (...) events (Kamp 1979) is related to a notion of context given by a string of observations, the vagueness in which is brought out by grounding the observations in the real line. With this notion of context, the context dependency functions in Gaifman 2002 are adapted to interpret temporal propositions. (shrink)
We consider the decision problem for cases of first-order temporal logic with function symbols and without equality. The monadic monodic fragment with flexible functions can be decided with EXPSPACE-complete complexity. A single rigid function is sufficient to make the logic not recursively enumerable. However, the monadic monodic fragment with rigid functions, where no two distinct terms have variables bound by the same quantifier, is decidable and EXPSPACE-complete.
Temporal externalists argue that ascriptions of thought and utterance content can legitimately re?ect contingent conceptual developments that are only settled after the time of utterance. While the view has been criticized for failing to accord with our.
This paper is in three sections. In the first I describe and illustrate three uses of indices of truth in semantics. The way I illustrate this classification is not completely uncontroversial, but I expect that my intuitions on this matter are generally shared. In the second section I broach a question which is central to the metaphysics of time, namely: how should certain temporal indices of truth - times - be fitted within this classificatory scheme? I sketch three proposals (...) as to how this might be done, and show how they constitute different metaphysical conceptions of the nature of time. Finally, in the third section I turn to a specific problem with the classification of times (as indices of truth) I call 'non-indexical'. Mellor (1981) thinks this problem insoluble, and argues that it shows this classification to be absurd. However, by appealing to the modal analogues of the issues involved, I first show that Mellor's argument is question- begging, and then go on to show how the non-indexical classification of times might undermine the presuppositions on which his argument rests. The paper attempts to contribute to a discussion of the question raised in section II, not to provide a definitive answer to it. (shrink)
We are used to regarding actions and other events, such as Brutus’ stabbing of Caesar or the sinking of the Titanic, as occupying intervals of some underlying linearly ordered temporal dimension. This attitude is so natural and compelling that one is tempted to disregard the obvious difference between time periods and actual happenings in favor of the former: events become mere “intervals cum description”.1 On the other hand, in ordinary circumstances the point of talking about time is to talk (...) about what actually happens or might happen at some time or another. We talk about ‘now’ and ‘then’ in an effort to put some order in our description of what goes on. And since different events seem to overlap in so many different ways, a full account of their temporal relations seems to run afoul of a reductionist strategy. This raises two philosophical questions. The ﬁrst is whether we can actually go beyond time, as it were, i.e., whether we can take events as bona ﬁde entities and deal with them directly, just as we can deal with spatial entities such as physical bodies or masses without conﬁning ourselves to their spatial representations. This is a controversial issue (though probably not as controversial as it used to be), and ties in with a number of unsettled problems concerning, e.g., the structure of causality or the deﬁnition of adequate identity and individuation criteria for events. 2 The second question is whether we can perhaps do without time, i.e., whether we can dispense with time points or intervals as an independent ontological category and focus only on actual or potential happenings, in opposition to the form of reductionism mentioned above—in short, whether we can account for the temporal dimension in terms of suitable relations among events. This is also a highly controversial issue, and relates to the classical dispute concerning relational vs. absolutist conceptions of (space and) time.3 It is this second question that we intend to focus on here.. (shrink)
John Perry has argued that language, thought and experience often contain unarticulated constituents. I argue that this idea holds the key to explaining away the intuitive appeal of the A-theory of time and the endurance theory of persistence. The A-theory has seemed intuitively appealing because the nature of temporal experience makes it natural for us to use one-place predicates like past to deal with what are really two-place relations, one of whose constituents is unarticulated. The endurance view can be (...) treated in a similar way; the temporal boundaries of temporal parts of objects are unarticulated in experience and this makes it seem that the very same entity exists at different times. (shrink)
If ordinary objects have temporal parts, then temporal predications have the following truth conditions: necessarily, ( a is F) at t iff a has a temporal part that is located at t and that is F. If ordinary objects have temporal counterparts, then, necessarily, ( a is F) at t iff a has a temporal counterpart that is located at t and that is F. The temporal-parts account allows temporal predication to be closed (...) under the parthood relation: since all that is required to be F at t is to have a temporal part, a t , that is located at t and that is F, every object that has a t as a temporal part is F at t . Similarly for the temporal-counterparts account. Both closure under parthood and closure under counterparthood are shown to have unacceptable consequences. Then strategies for avoiding closure are considered and rejected. (shrink)
In this paper I show that the existence of an infinite temporal regress does not undermine the soundness of Craigs version of the Kalam Cosmological Argument. To this end I shall focus on a particular complication that Craig raises against one of his arguments in support of a finite temporal regress. I will show that this complication can be made innocuous by extending the notion of A-theoretic time, which is presupposed by Craigs argument, to include a notion of (...)temporal becoming that is compatible with the existence of an infinite regress of temporal events. All this shows that God could have created an infinite temporal regress a finite time in the past without this entailing a contradiction. (shrink)
The traditional philosophical doctrine of double effect claims that agents’ intentions affect whether acts are morally wrong. Our behavioral study reveals that agents’ intentions affect whether acts are judged morally wrong but not whether acts are classified as killings, whereas the temporal order of good and bad effects affects whether acts are classified as killings but not whether acts are judged morally wrong. These findings suggest that the moral judgments are not based on the classifications. Our results also undermine (...) recent claims that prior moral judgments determine whether agents are seen as causing effects intentionally rather than as side effects. (shrink)