Embedding Under Tense Operators

Berit Brogaard

in Transient Truths

Published in print April 2012 | ISBN: 9780199796908
Published online May 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780199933235 | DOI:
Embedding Under Tense Operators

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David Kaplan was one of the most vivid supporters of the view that there are temporal contents which tense operators operate on. The conclusion that the truth-value of sentence content may be sensitive to time shifts does not by itself qualify as temporalism. If there are tense operators in English, then Kaplan’s argument succeeds in establishing that temporal contents satisfy the condition that they are contents that some intensional operators operate on. Since we have already argued that temporal contents satisfy the other conditions for being a proposition, we could take Kaplan’s argument to show that temporal contents are propositions. In response to Kaplan’s argument, several eternalists have defended the view that sentences have two kinds of content, temporal and eternal, but that only eternal content has proposition-status. The two kinds of content are also known as ‘compositional content’ and ‘assertoric content’. Rather than simply referring back to the general objections to eternalism provided in the first three chapters, I shall here offer independent arguments against each of the double-content strategies.

Keywords: Kaplan’s argument; assertoric content; compositional content; Ingredient Sense; Kaplan’s character; tense operators; the rigidity thesis; the redundancy of present tense; monsters; the quantifier analysis of the tenses

Chapter.  12480 words. 

Subjects: Philosophy of Language

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