« Liberals Have Lost Their Minds Over Immigration | Main | Pedantry in Pursuit of Precision . . . »

Wednesday, January 31, 2018


Feed You can follow this conversation by subscribing to the comment feed for this post.


Presentism occurred to me as I was reading and responding to "Benatar on Annihilation and the Existence Requirement." There, I suggested the Relation Requirement. That would seem to work on Past-and-Presentism.

One apparent problem with Past-and-Presentism, though, is that it gives us a reality in which evil is never overcome. For example, take the unjust execution of Socrates. It's in the past, but it continues. As long as there is time, this injustice exists. It never goes away. This would seem to present difficulties in ethics.


Both Socrates and his execution are wholly past. The first a wholly past individual, the second a wholly past event. It would not be right to say that they continue, for that implies that they still exist.

Would the evil of the execution be overcome on a different theory of time? I don't think so. That there are past evils is a datum that any theory of time has to accommodate.

Probably worth flagging that not even the divine memory solution is open to believers in divine simplicity; an absolutely simple God is the exact same in every possible world, and therefore can't make contingent truths true in any of them.

Alan Rhoda is an evangelical who rejects the divine simplicity as most, but not all, of them do.

Hi Bill... Taking your cue to migrate over to the more serious arguments here :)... Quick question: Does existence simpliciter apply only to actual things, in your view? Seems you think it does. So we can't (truly) say that Schopenhauer's merely possible son exists simpliciter, but not actually?

Yes, existence simpliciter applies only to actual items. A merely possible item, whether past, present, or future, does not exist at all.

Dragons and dinosaurs strike me as very different. Dragons are merely possible; dinosaurs are actual, though not temporally present.

To say that dragons are merely possible is to say that the property of being a dragon -- which does actually exist -- is possibly instantiated. This makes me an ersatzer in D. Lewis' terminology.

The latter's extreme 'mad dog' modal realism is a brilliant but crazy construction.


In this post you consider:
"For something to be bad for somebody, he must exist at the time it is bad for him."

As I've just commented to your previous post, in that post you consider:
"In order for something to be bad for somebody, that being must actually exist at the time at which the bad occurs."

Those look like two different propositions. As I've suggested there, the time when my being dead is bad for me does not overlap with the time when my being dead obtains.

Now, something is bad for me when and only when I exist, obviously. If we disagree, perhaps we need to explore the meaning of 'something is bad for me'. When I exist, I am such that my valuable life (or my existence) will come to a halt. Which is bad for me. When? When I exist. Again, if you disagree, then try to clarify your meaning of 'something is bad for me (during the time I do not exist)'.

Perhaps my position implies presentism. Interesting point. One reply: If so, so much the worse for non-presentism. My position is simply a decisive reason for presentism. Another reply: Whether my position implies presentism depends on the meaning of 'something is bad for me'. Is it possible that the sides of the debate conceive the meaning differently and so are talking past each other?

The comments to this entry are closed.

My Photo
Blog powered by Typepad
Member since 10/2008



December 2023

Sun Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat
          1 2
3 4 5 6 7 8 9
10 11 12 13 14 15 16
17 18 19 20 21 22 23
24 25 26 27 28 29 30
Blog powered by Typepad