Chapter

The Past

Bede Rundle

in Time, Space, and Metaphysics

Published in print October 2009 | ISBN: 9780199575114
Published online February 2010 | e-ISBN: 9780191722349 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199575114.003.0005
The Past

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This chapter discusses how the notions of the present and of being real are to be understood, along with the question whether only the present, not past or future, is real. McTaggart's attempt at disproving the reality of time, together with more recent elaborations of his argument, are examined and found wanting, and the central notion of change is analysed. The anti-realist's claim that there must be something in the present in virtue of which past-tense statements are true is expounded and rejected, and arguments relating to anti-realism more generally, as advanced by Michael Dummett, are criticised.

Keywords: present; past; McTaggart; anti-realism; Dummett

Chapter.  11880 words. 

Subjects: Metaphysics

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