Peter Ludlow

in The Oxford Handbook of Philosophy of Language

Published in print September 2008 | ISBN: 9780199552238
Published online September 2009 | e-ISBN: 9780191577451 | DOI:

Series: Oxford Handbooks in Philosophy


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While most approaches to the semantics of tense have attempted to regiment tense away in a tenseless metalanguage, a good case can be made that this is not without cost (the same case could be made for regimentation of modality and other aspects of natural language as well). On the other hand, it is pretty clear that attempts to treat tense in a tensed metalanguage introduce serious complications. It is probably not so important which of these positions is correct at this point (we may be some distance from resolving that question), as it is that we understand the costs of the respective positions. Perhaps, by having a firm enough grasp on both approaches we afford ourselves a deeper insight into the nature of tense itself.

Keywords: semantics of tense; metalanguage; natural language; regimentation of modality; detensers

Article.  12672 words. 

Subjects: Philosophy of Language

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