« Will I Vote for Donald J. Trump in 2020? | Main | We Lesser Lights »

Wednesday, May 08, 2019

Comments

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

There is a bit of strain in your use of "exists tenselessly" and I'm not sure it makes sense. I would know what you mean if you were talking about abstract or timeless objects such as numbers or God, but when you apply it to temporal objects, I'm just not sure what it means. Does

X exists tenselessly

just mean

X did exist or does exist or will exist?

If so, then (SUBS*) is a contradiction and (E) is a tautology. If it means something else, then what is that meaning?

Dave,

You are asking the right questions. I suspect that it is unintelligible to speak of tenseless existence and tenseless property-possession with respect to items in time. My point above is that it has to be intelligible if presentism is not to collapse into a tautology, and eternalism into a contradiction.

>>Presentism as usually understood

That would be metaphysical presentism, as opposed to grammatical presentism, which holds there is only the tautological sense.

Do you have any citations for metaphysical presentism? I.e. which philosophers have presented a version of presentism in line with your PP?

Ostrich,

See the SEP entry: https://plato.stanford.edu/entries/presentism/

OK that looks fairly clear. The article is characterising what I would call 'metaphysical presentism'.

As I commented by email, metaphysical presentists deserve everything they get; they have entered a contest which they can never win, at best stalemate etc.

We logical presentists are on much safer ground.

You are on very safe ground: you are not saying anything !

What you call logical presentism is of no interest whatssever, except as a foil for a position of interest.

No the logical presentist is saying something. He is saying very firmly that there is no presentist claim that is non-trivial, ergo etc. If what he says is true, it follows that metaphysical presentism, which holds (among other things) that there is a non-trivial sense to ‘only the present exists’, is false. So not only is the logical presentist saying something, he is saying something quite important and relevant to the debate between the metaphysical presentist and the metaphysical anti-presentist. He is saying that neither position is true (because both are equally incoherent, senseless etc).

Whether the logical presentist’s claim is true or not (as opposed to whether it is important or not) is a separate question. He could argue by taking any claim by the metaphysician and question whether it makes sense or not.

Take for example the question of whether a thing could exist without existing in the present. The logical presentist might then question what is meant by ‘no longer exists’. The natural interpretation is ‘existed, but does not exist’. But then the thing doesn’t exist, period.

You're right in your first two paras.! You are making a meta-claim. You are claiming that 'Only the present exists' can only be read as a tautology. This meta-claim is not a tautology. I conflated the claim and the meta-claim.

>>Take for example the question of whether a thing could exist without existing in the present. The logical presentist might then question what is meant by ‘no longer exists’. The natural interpretation is ‘existed, but does not exist’. But then the thing doesn’t exist, period.<<

Here you go wrong. Using tensed language, it is true that the natural interpretation is ‘existed, but does not exist’. But it doesn't follow that the thing doesn't exist, period. What follows is that thing does not exist NOW.

The comments to this entry are closed.

My Photo
Blog powered by Typepad
Member since 10/2008

Categories

Categories

October 2019

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 31    
Blog powered by Typepad