Smart and tensed beliefs

Philosophia 38 (2):313-325 (2010)
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Abstract

The aim of this paper is to defend a prototype B-theory answer to McTaggart’s Puzzle about Time. Smart hopes to solve the issue by pointing to the “anthropocentricity” of temporal A-notions. There is one important problem: explaining Prior cases (for instance being relieved that a painful experience is over ) in B-theoretic terms. First, it is argued that the problem is how to explain the nature of the subject’s tensed belief in Prior cases; the essential indexicality of the concept ‘ now ’. Then it is suggested that Smart could utilize Burge’s framework for dealing with de re beliefs and a way of formalizing tensed beliefs is proposed. The last section of the paper deals with the exact role of the formalized indexical element. If these three steps are worked out, we might have an explanation of the facts involved in Prior cases without mentioning any A-facts. Hence an important problem to a Smart-influenced B-theory is solved, and McTaggart’s Puzzle answered in an adequate manner.

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Vasilis Tsompanidis
National Autonomous University of Mexico

Citations of this work

Tensed Belief.Vasilis Tsompanidis - 2011 - Dissertation, University of California Santa Barbara

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References found in this work

The Varieties of Reference.Gareth Evans - 1982 - Oxford: Oxford University Press. Edited by John Henry McDowell.
Demonstratives: An Essay on the Semantics, Logic, Metaphysics and Epistemology of Demonstratives and other Indexicals.David Kaplan - 1989 - In Joseph Almog, John Perry & Howard Wettstein (eds.), Themes From Kaplan. New York: Oxford University Press. pp. 481-563.
Mind and World.John Henry McDowell - 1994 - Cambridge: Harvard University Press.
Themes From Kaplan.Joseph Almog, John Perry & Howard Wettstein (eds.) - 1989 - New York: Oxford University Press.

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