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Saturday, April 18, 2020

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“What the presentist is maintaining is that only what exists (present tense) exists tenselessly.”

One possible meaning for ‘X exists tenselessly” means “X is or was (or will be?) something”. If so, why would anyone hold that everything that exists tenselessly, exists in the present?

Presumably the anti-presentist denies that meaning, but the correct meaning needs to be made clear.

FYI my friend Magali Roques recently wrote on the medieval theory of natural supposition, “the mode of reference that a term has when the proposition in which it occurs as a subject term causes it to be taken for all its significates regardless of the tense of the proposition”.

Bill,

What are propositions on presentism? Do they exist in time? If not, it's not even true on presentism that “BV is alive”. If so, propositions might have to be contingent, and it might be possible that “BV was alive” is neither true nor false (e.g. if propositions are mental and nobody is thinking it).

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