Language and Time

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Oxford University Press, 01.08.2002 - 262 Seiten
This book offers a defense of the tensed theory of time, a critique of the New Theory of Reference, and an argument that simultaneity is absolute. Although Smith rejects ordinary language philosophy, he shows how it is possible to argue from the nature of language to the nature of reality. Specifically, he argues that semantic properties of tensed sentences are best explained by the hypothesis that they ascribe to events temporal properties of futurity, presentness, or pastness and do not merely ascribe relations of earlier than or simultaneity. He criticizes the New Theory of Reference, which holds that "now" refers directly to a time and does not ascribe the property of presentness. Smith does not adopt the old or Fregean theory of reference but develops a third alternative, based on his detailed theory of de re and de dicto propositions and a theory of cognitive significance. He concludes the book with a lengthy critique of Einstein's theory of time. Smith offers a positive argument for absolute simultaneity based on his theory that all propositions exist in time. He shows how Einstein's relativist temporal concepts are reducible to a conjunction of absolutist temporal concepts and relativist nontemporal concepts of the observable behavior of light rays, rigid bodies, and the like.

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Inhalt

The Translation Method and the Tensed and Tenseless Theories of Time
3
12 The Old Tenseless Theory of Time
8
13 The New Tenseless Theory of Time
11
14 The A Priori Version of the Nonsemantic Tenseless Theory of Time
14
15 The A Posteriori Version of the Nonsemantic Tenseless Theory of Time
18
The Untranslatability of ASentences by Tenseless DateSentences
27
22 The Truth Conditions of ASentenceTokens and Tenseless DateSentences
33
23 The Confirmation Conditions of ASentenceTokens and Tenseless DateSentences
39
55 Direct and Indirect Property Ascription
148
56 States of Affairs
151
57 Presentness as a Metaphysical Subject of All AStatesofAffairs
158
58 The NoProperty Tensed Theory of Time
166
59 McTaggarts Paradox
169
Presentness as a Logical Subject of Tenseless Sentences
180
62 Tenseless Singular and Existential Sentences Other Than BSentences
188
63 BSentences
192

A Adolf Griinbaums Theory of ADateSentenceTokens
40
B William Lycans Theory
42
C David Kaplans and Nathan Salmons Implicit Theories
44
D Michelle Beers Theory
49
24 The Entailment Relations of ASentenceTokens and Tenseless DateSentences
50
25 The Logical Identities of ASentenceTokens and Tenseless DateSentences
56
Intersubstitutivity in Extensional Contexts
61
The Untranslatability of ASentences by Tenseless TokenReflexive Sentences
67
32 The Truth Conditions of ASentences and Tenseless TokenReflexive Sentences
72
33 The Confirmation Conditions of ASentences and Tenseless TokenReflexive Sentences
78
34 The Entailment Relations of ASentences and Tenseless TokenReflexive Sentences
81
35 The Logical Identities of ASentences and Tenseless TokenReflexive Sentences
86
36 The Psychological Theory of ASentences
90
The Tensed Theory of ASentences
94
43 The Tensed Explanation of the Tenseless TokenReflexive Rules of ASentenceTokens
98
44 The Tensed Explanation of the Tenseless TokenIndependent Rules Governing the Propositions Expressed by ASentenceTokens
105
45 The Tensed Explanation of AIndexicals and their Relation to ANonindexicals
110
46 The Tensed Theory of Temporal Quasi Indicators
121
47 The Cognitive Significance of AIndexicals
124
THE ARGUMENT FOR PRESENTISM
131
Presentness as a Logical Subject of ASentences
133
52 A Preliminary Analysis of Property Ascription
136
53 The Conveyance Relation
141
54 Two Species of the Propositional Relation
144
64 Synthetic Generalizations
199
65 Tautological and Analytic Sentences
204
66 NonEnglish Sentences
215
Absolute Presentness and the Special Theory of Relativity
225
A All Elsewhere Events Are Present
226
B All Events Orthogonal to the Time Axis of a Present Event Are Present
227
C Only What Is HereNow Is Present
228
72 Metaphysical Time and SpecialTheoryofRelativityTime
229
73 The Reductionist Nature of the Special Theory of Relativity Temporal Definitions
232
74 The Primitiveness and Absoluteness of Metaphysical Time
234
75 All Mental Events Exist in Metaphysical Time
236
76 All Physical Events Are in Metaphysical Time
239
77 Metaphysical Time Is the Only Possible Time
241
78 Metaphysical Time Distinguished from Other Candidates for Absolute Time
243
A Cosmic Time
244
BPhysically Reducible Absolute Time
245
C NeoLorentz Time
246
D Newtonian Time
247
E Divine Time
248
Conclusion
251
The Presentist Attitude
252
Index
260
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Seite 90 - belonging to the present," but for a critical assessment of the status which common sense attributes to the present. t And my reply to the question is: what qualifies a physical event at a time t as belonging to the present...
Seite 29 - ... yesterday." Although the thought is the same its verbal expression must be different so that the sense, which would otherwise be affected by the differing times of utterance, is readjusted. The case is the same with words like "here" and "there." In all such cases the mere wording, as it is given in writing, is not the complete expression of the thought, but the knowledge of certain accompanying conditions of utterance, which are used as means of expressing the thought, are needed for its correct...
Seite 68 - he runs' means 'he runs (tenseless) simultaneous with this utterance', and 'he ran' means 'he runs (tenseless) earlier than this utterance'.* All the jobs which can be done by tenses can be done by means of the tenseless way of talking and the selfreferential utterance 'this utterance'.
Seite 28 - ... but always true or always false. It results that a variable statement is merely one whose meaning is ambiguous. Now logic ought not to be concerned with forms of words, but with what such forms mean ; hence it...
Seite 38 - Cambridge is ten miles away" are used differently because they are known to be true in different places; and similarly in time for "It is now 1980" and "1980 is two years ago." Truth conditions give meanings less problematically here than in mathematics and elsewhere for another reason too. For a sentence's truth conditions to give its meaning, its being true in them must be more than a coincidence. Otherwise, so far as truth conditions go, the English sentence "Snow is white" could just as well...
Seite 29 - If a time indication is needed by the present tense one must know when the sentence was uttered to apprehend the thought correctly. Therefore the time of utterance is part of the expression of the thought. If someone wants to say the same today as he expressed yesterday using the word "today," he must replace this word with "yesterday.
Seite 137 - Now it seems to me as clear as anything can be in philosophy that the two sentences 'Socrates is wise', 'Wisdom is a characteristic of Socrates' assert the same fact and express the same proposition. They are not, of course, the same sentence, but they have the same meaning, just as two sentences in two different languages can have the same meaning. Which sentence we use is a matter either of literary style, or of the point of view from which we approach the fact.
Seite 215 - A theory of substantive semantic universal s may hold for example, that certain designative functions must be carried out in a specified way in each language. Thus it might assert that each language will contain terms that designate persons or lexical items referring to certain specific kinds of objects.feelings, behavior, and so on.
Seite 19 - PM nowness (presentness) inheres in the events of 3 PM For all I am able to discern here is that the events of 3 PM are indeed those of 3 PM on the day in question! (2) It seems to me of decisive significance that no cognizance is taken of nowness (in the sense associated with becoming) in any of the extant theories of physics. If nowness were a fundamental property of physical events themselves, then it would be very strange indeed that it could go unrecognized in all extant physical theories without...
Seite 56 - Mrs. Brown is not at home," we know the time at which this is said, and therefore we know what is meant. But in order to express explicitly the whole of what is meant, it is necessary to add the date, and then the statement is no longer " variable," but always true or always false.

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