Disagreeing Across Time

Berit Brogaard

in Transient Truths

Published in print April 2012 | ISBN: 9780199796908
Published online May 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780199933235 | DOI:
Disagreeing Across Time

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Eternalism holds that present-tensed sentences make implicit reference to the time of speech. ‘John is a firefighter’, for example, expresses, relative to a context, the proposition that John is a firefighter at t*, where t* is the time of speech. But conversations take place over extended periods of time, and most of these conversations are not about specific times but about some other subject matter altogether. Specific times may be completely irrelevant to what is discussed. So it seems that the information that is passed on and that is the subject of discussion in many cases is temporally neutral. Temporal contents thus satisfy the third and fourth conditions on propositions.

Keywords: agreement; disagreement; shared content; time intervals; the disagreement test; arguments from disagreement

Chapter.  5355 words. 

Subjects: Philosophy of Language

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