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Wednesday, December 07, 2011


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Bill, "The solution, for Edward, is obvious: Deny the Temporally Unrestricted Truth-Maker Principle as stated in (2)."

I think you mean here (1).

Or perhaps you really meant (3). That makes more sense, knowing Ed's position on truth-makers.

Thanks for the correction, Peter. Damn me and my typos! I meant (3).

I think Ed holds that LEM is temporally unrestricted. But we know he rejects truth-makers.

I suspect you will solve the problem by rejecting Presentism. Is that right? This assumes that you agree that (1)-(4) are inconsistent.

My challenge to Ed: Prove that it is more rational to reject Truth-Maker than it is to reject Presentism. After all, the latter is problematic for reasons I have given before.

But if you reject Presentism, then you could be challenged to show why it is more rational to reject Presentism than to reject Unrestricted Truth-Maker.

I suspect both you and Ed agree that the problem has a solution. But the fact that you givefdifferent solkutions is a bad sign, no? I take that as partial evidence that the problem is insoluble, absolutely speaking.


You are right about everything you said in your comment. Ed (quite irrationally, I think!) rejects TMs; I (quite sensibly, I think!) reject presentism. So now we are locked in a dispute who is right, a consequence which provides some support to your meta-philosophical hypothesis, which I also reject. More soon!

Presentism has its problems, but I fear the same is true of the various anti-presentisms.

"Watch it! The pot is going to boil over!" 

It's interesting that we use the present tense of the verb 'to go' to express a future contingency. Perhaps as if, by a spatial analogy, the pot is presently on course to reach the destination we call 'boiling over'. Rather than claiming that the present tendency of the pot is the truthmaker of the future contingency 'the pot will boil over' we could be simply remarking on the presence of this tendency: the pot is on its way to boiling over. Further, this particular utterance cannot be an assertion of a true fact about the future since the intent is to prevent the boiling over (and thus falsify the future claim) rather than an invitation to enjoy a spectacle. Thus we can 'explain' this example without recourse to (1), (3), or (4). I'm lead further to doubt that it makes sense to attribute truth values to future-tensed contingent statements, by symmetry, as it were, with past-tensed statements.

I only mentioned the bit about present tendencies since Michael Dummett said something along similar lines.

So you deny (1). Now what is particularly interesting is that while you presumably agree with Peter and Ed that the tetrad is inconsistent, you plump for a different solution. You deny (1). Peter denies (2). Ed denies (3).

Why then would it not be equally reasonable to accept all four limbs and pronounce the problem insoluble? If the problem is soluble, then one of you should be able to convince the other two. It is not as if you three lack intelligence or are ignorant of some fact.

Bill, I may have misunderstood your post here, but wouldn't the conjunction of all four limbs be a self-contradictory proposition, and hence to accept it would amount to mysterianism?

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