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Temporal Language and Temporal Reality

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Abstract:

It has recently been argued that the new B-theory of time argues invalidly from the claim that tensed sentences have tenseless truth-conditions to the conclusion that temporal reality is tenseless. But while early B-theorists may have relied on some such inference, new B-theorists do not. Giving tenseless truth-conditions for tensed sentences is not intended to prove that temporal reality is tenseless. Rather it is intended to undermine the A-theorist's move from claims about the irreducibility of tensed language to the conclusion that temporal reality must be tensed. I examine how A-theorists have used facts about language in attempting to establish their conclusions about the nature of temporal reality. I take the recent work of William Lane Craig, and argue that he moves illicitly from facts about temporal language to his conclusion that temporal reality is tensed.

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: https://doi.org/10.1111/1467-9213.00319

Affiliations: University of Otago

Publication date: 2003-07-01

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