Chapter

Existence and the Present

Ian Hinckfuss

in The Existence of Space and Time

Published in print March 1975 | ISBN: 9780198245193
Published online October 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780191680854 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198245193.003.0006
Existence and the Present

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This chapter is primarily concerned with the attitude towards what is present or now as opposed to what is here, particularly with respect to the feeling that what is now has a preferred status of existence to what was or what will be. It also argues that the ability to describe events as being in the past or present or future is not sufficient to give the idea of a flow of time. In addition, the chapter demonstrates how reductions to purely indexical tensed discourse can eliminate reference to times and places, though it is also argued that the tensed discourse of ordinary language is not purely indexical. The chapter specifically looks at Moore's problem. Furthermore, it deals with simultaneity, the theory of The Present, and Maxwell's theory of electromagnetic radiation. Einstein's operational definition of simultaneity is also provided. The experimental confirmation of Maxwell's theory of electromagnetic radiation is finally elaborated.

Keywords: flow of time; Moore's problem; Maxwell's theory; electromagnetic radiation; The Present; existence

Chapter.  15148 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Metaphysics

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