Philosophy Compass 7 (1):43-57 (2012)

Meghan Sullivan
University of Notre Dame
A‐theorists of time postulate a deep distinction between the present, past and future. Settling on an appropriate logic for such a view is no easy matter. This Philosophy Compass article describes one of the most vexing formal problems facing A‐theorists. It is commonly thought that A‐theories can only be formally expressed in a tense logic: a logic with operators like P and F . And it seems natural to think that we live in a world where objects come to exist and cease to exist as time passes. Indeed, this is typically a key component of the most prominent kind of A‐theory, presentism. But the temporary existence assumption cannot be upheld in any tense logic with a standard quantification theory. I will explain the problem and outline the philosophical and logical considerations that generate it. I will then consider two possible solutions to the problem – one that targets our logic of quantification and one that targets our assumptions about change. I survey the costs of each solution
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DOI 10.1111/j.1747-9991.2011.00457.x
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References found in this work BETA

Past, Present, and Future.Arthur Norman Prior - 1967 - Oxford, England: Clarendon Press.
Nonexistent Objects.Terence Parsons - 1980 - Yale University Press.
Truth and Ontology.Trenton Merricks - 2007 - Oxford University Press.
Empiricism, Semantics and Ontology.Rudolf Carnap - 1950 - Revue Internationale de Philosophie 4 (11):20-40.

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Citations of this work BETA

Time.Ned Markosian - 2010 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
The Minimal A-Theory.Meghan Sullivan - 2012 - Philosophical Studies 158 (2):149-174.
An A-Theory Without Tense Operators.Meghan Sullivan - 2016 - Canadian Journal of Philosophy 46 (4-5):735-758.
Boring Ontological Realism.Meghan Sullivan - 2017 - Res Philosophica 94 (3):399-413.
Tense Logic.Ulrich Meyer - 2015 - Philosophy Compass 10 (6):406-419.

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