Chapter

Grammar and Ontology

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/9780199575114.003.0007
Grammar and Ontology

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The conception of time as a self-sufficient quantity awaiting measurement is to some extent due to a misconstrual of the grammar of temporal terms. To correct this misconception, this chapter shows how the terms used in specifying what clocks measure behave as clauses rather than as names of objects or substances, and in exhibiting this clausal involvement it may be seen how measuring duration is always measuring, not some problematic entity, but how long some unproblematic happening lasts. The nature of ontological issues relating to abstractions is discussed, with objects of attitudes and facts providing illustrations of the form of resolution advocated. The conception of facts as worldly items with causal powers is rejected, and the consequences for a causal theory of memory are drawn out. The idea that such items as instants are to enter by way of postulation is dismissed, and the notion of the passage of time is defended.

Keywords: clauses; time; memory; ontology; abstractions; facts

Chapter.  11841 words. 

Subjects: Metaphysics

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