Chapter

Representing Eternally

Berit Brogaard

in Transient Truths

Published in print April 2012 | ISBN: 9780199796908
Published online May 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780199933235 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199796908.003.0007
Representing Eternally

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In the previous chapters I have provided reasons for thinking that temporal contents can be the semantic values of truth-evaluable sentences, the objects of propositional attitudes, the objects of agreement and disagreement, the content that is passed on in successful communication and the contents that intensional operators operate on. So temporal contents satisfy the conditions for being propositions. This establishes the truth of temporalism, which merely claims that some propositions are temporal. In this chapter I focus on the question of which eternal truths English speakers are committed to. I argue that some English sentences express eternal propositions, whereas others can express either an eternal or a temporal proposition. At the end of the chapter, I provide an argument for why metaphysical eternalists should adopt my ambiguity thesis rather than the quantificational account of tenses that they usually assume.

Keywords: eternal propositions; temporal propositions; vacuous tense operators; metaphysical eternalism; the ambiguity thesis; the problem of temporary intrinsics; the Frege-Geach problem; vacuous quantifiers

Chapter.  8568 words. 

Subjects: Philosophy of Language

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