<i>The Temporal Strategy: Time and Aspect</i>

Helen Steward

in The Ontology of Mind

Published in print March 2000 | ISBN: 9780198250647
Published online October 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780191681318 | DOI:

Series: Oxford Philosophical Monographs

The Temporal Strategy: Time and Aspect

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This chapter begins by trying to build on the suggestion, adumbrated at the end of Chapter 2, that what is common and peculiar to events, and what distinguishes them from states, is a certain kind of ‘temporal shape’ — to exploit a so-called ‘temporal strategy’. The temporal strategy appears promising as far as the events needed by the philosophy of mind are concerned, for the following reason. There is room for dispute about whether or not, and in what sense, mental phenomena are physical, whether they are spatially located, and whether they have subjects, and if so, what those subjects might be. The chapter tries to shed some light on the differences between events, processes, and states by drawing on the phenomenon of verb aspect. Though some insight is gained into the category of state by this discussion, the main focus of the chapter is the event-process distinction. It shows how the invocation of aspect can permit us to regard the distinction between events and processes as akin, in some respects, to the familiar distinction between substantial objects and the matter of which they are made.

Keywords: philosophy of mind; event; verb; aspect; processes; temporal shape

Chapter.  10912 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Philosophy of Mind

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