« What, Me Worry? | Main | Saturday Night at the Oldies: Sounds of the Southwest »

Saturday, May 11, 2019


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

This discussion seems also to engage with the logical presentist’s challenge to give a non-trivial sense to presentism. Suppose we define *exists as meaning ‘exists, or existed, or will exist’. Then it is true that Boethius no longer exists, although he *exists. But presumably not true in the sense that the metaphysical presentist wants, since it is trivially true. Right?

Yes, but it is tricky. The following are both unproblematically true:

1. Boethius no longer exists.

2. Boethius *exists in the following disjunctive sense: he existed or he exists or he will exist.

(2) is true because the first disjunct is true.

The metaphysical presentist needs a sense of 'exist' that allows him to engage the eternalist and disagree with him. They must agree about what 'exists' means if they are to disagree about what exists. Now which sense of 'exists' is that? Can't be the disjunctive sense.

The eternalist says that past, present, and future items all (tenselessly) exist. Now if tenseless 'exists' = disjunctive 'exists,' then we hit a snag:

The presentist denies that Boethius tenselessly exists. So, given the above equation, the presentist denies that (Boethius existed or exists or will exist). Trouble is, he doesn't and he can't.

Verify your Comment

Previewing your Comment

This is only a preview. Your comment has not yet been posted.

Your comment could not be posted. Error type:
Your comment has been saved. Comments are moderated and will not appear until approved by the author. Post another comment

The letters and numbers you entered did not match the image. Please try again.

As a final step before posting your comment, enter the letters and numbers you see in the image below. This prevents automated programs from posting comments.

Having trouble reading this image? View an alternate.


Post a comment

Comments are moderated, and will not appear until the author has approved them.

Your Information

(Name and email address are required. Email address will not be displayed with the comment.)

My Photo
Blog powered by Typepad
Member since 10/2008



May 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