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  1. No Longer True.Luca Barlassina & Fabio Del Prete - manuscript
    There are sentences that express the same temporally fully specified proposition at all contexts--call them 'context-insensitive, temporally specific sentences.' Sentence (1) 'Obama was born in 1961' is a case in point: at all contexts, it expresses the proposition ascribing to the year 1961 the property of being a time in which Obama was born. Suppose that someone uttered (1) in a context located on Christmas 2000 in our world. In this context, (1) is a true sentence about the past. Moreover, (...)
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  2. Aspect as Eventuality Centering: English and Polish.Maria Bittner - manuscript
    Last time we saw that grammatical tenses anaphorically refer to top-ranked times or time-valued functions of top-ranked events, just like grammatical person markers anaphorically refer to top-ranked individuals or invididual-valued functions of top-ranked events. Today we extend this idea to grammatical aspect. Specifically, grammatical aspect marking in English and Polish is analyzed as discourse anaphora to top-ranked eventualities (states or events).
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  3. From Mandarin Texts to Update with Centering.Maria Bittner - manuscript
    Simple Mandarin Chinese texts translated into Update with Centering. Notes toward a directly compositional fragment of Mandarin Chinese, combining Categorial Grammar with Update with Centering, to appear in Bittner (in prep.) "Temporality: Universals and Variation".
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  4. Tense, Mood, and Centering.Maria Bittner - manuscript
    Natural languages exhibit a great variety of grammatical paradigms. For instance, in English verbs are grammatically marked for tense, whereas in the tenseless Eskimo-Aleut language Kalaallisut they are marked for illocutionary mood. Although time is a universal dimension of the human experience and speaking is part of that experience, some languages encode reference to time without any grammatical tense morphology, or reference to speech acts without any illocutionary mood morphology. Nevertheless, different grammatical systems are semantically parallel in certain respects. Specifically, (...)
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  5. Nominal Quantification as Top-Level Anaphora.Maria Bittner - manuscript
    So far, we have focused on discourse reference to atomic individuals and specific times, events, and states. The basic point of the argument was that all types of discourse reference involve attention-guided anaphora (in the sense of Bittner 2012: Ch. 2). We now turn to discourses involving anaphora to and by quantificational expressions. Today, we focus on quantification over individuals but the analysis we develop will directly generalize to other semantic types. The basic idea is that quantification is one more (...)
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  6. Aspect as Eventuality Centering: Mandarin.Maria Bittner - manuscript
    Unlike English and Polish, Mandarin has no grammatical tense (TNS). Therefore, reference times are only introduced by temporal modifiers (contra Smith 1991/7, Wu 2003, Lin 2005, etc). In Mandarin discourse, the frequency of such modifiers (‘today’, ‘last night’, etc) is about the same (low) as in tensed languages (e.g. English, Polish) and plays a similarly marginal role in temporal discourse reference. This, however, does NOT mean that in tenseless Mandarin temporal relations between eventualities in discourse are in any way less (...)
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  7. The Modal Future Hypothesis Debugged.Fabrizio Cariani - manuscript
    This note identifies and corrects some problems in developments of the thesis that predictive expressions, such as English "will", are modals. I contribute a new argument supporting Cariani and Santorio's recent claim that predictive expressions are non-quantificational modals. At the same time, I improve on their selectional semantics by fixing an important bug. Finally, I show that there are benefits to be reaped by integrating the selection semantics framework with standard ideas about the future orientation of modals.
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  8. Temporal Location of Events in Language and (Non) Persistence of the Past.Fabio Del Prete - manuscript
    The article reviews some analyses of temporal language in logical approaches to natural language semantics. It considers some asymmetries between past and future, manifested in language, which motivate the “standard view” of the non-reversibility of time and the persistence of the past. It concludes with a puzzle about the changing past which challenges the standard view.
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  9. Topic States in Mandarin Discourse.Maria Bittner - forthcoming - In Michael Opper (ed.), Proceedings of the 25th North American Conference on Chinese Linguistics. Ohio State University.
    I propose that Mandarin 。-sentences (units marked by 。) are aspectual topic-comment sequences, where an initial update (terminating in a pause) introduces a topic state for comment by one or more clauses. Each comment anaphorically refers to the topic state via the aspect feature of the verbal predicate. This proposal explains why Mandarin 。-sentences have controversial boundaries, since speakers may disagree where one topic state ends and the next one begins. It also explains various manifestations of aspect-prominence and topic-prominence in (...)
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  10. The Modal Future: A Theory of Future-Directed Thought and Talk.Fabrizio Cariani - 2021 - Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press.
    Provisional draft, pre-production copy of my book “The Modal Future” (forthcoming with Cambridge University Press).
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  11. Temporal Fictionalism for a Timeless World.Sam Baron, Kristie Miller & Jonathan Tallant - 2019 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research (2):281-301.
    Philosophy and Phenomenological Research, EarlyView.
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  12. The Spiritual & Sensuous: Aesthetics of Adorno & Scruton.Virgil W. Brower - 2018 - Wassard Elea Rivista 6 (3):127-139.
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  13. 'Now' with Subordinate Clauses.Sam Carter & Daniel Altshuler - 2017 - In Proceedings of SALT 27. pp. 340-357.
    We investigate a novel use of the English temporal modifier ‘now’, in which it combines with a subordinate clause. We argue for a univocal treatment of the expression, on which the subordinating use is taken as basic and the non-subordinating uses are derived. We start by surveying central features of the latter uses which have been discussed in previous work, before introducing key observations regarding the subordinating use of ‘now’ and its relation to deictic and anaphoric uses. All of these (...)
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  14. The Development of Temporal Concepts: Learning to Locate Events in Time.Teresa McCormack & Christoph Hoerl - 2017 - Timing and Time Perception 5 (3-4):297-327.
    A new model of the development of temporal concepts is described that assumes that there are substantial changes in how children think about time in the early years. It is argued that there is a shift from understanding time in an event-dependent way to an event-independent understanding of time. Early in development, very young children are unable to think about locations in time independently of the events that occur at those locations. It is only with development that children begin to (...)
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  15. A Note on Aristotle and Beliefs About the Future.Bo R. Meinertsen - 2017 - In He Xirong, Peter Jonkers & Shi Yongze (eds.), Philosophy and the Life-World: Chinese Philosophical Studies, XXXIII. Washington, DC, USA: The Council for Research in Values and Philosophy. pp. 207-213.
    This note falls into two main parts. In the first part, I shall consider the question of whether or not Aristotle believed that there can be true statements about what will happen in the future. I will first clarify this question, which will involve consideration of some logical and metaphysical notions in Aristotle. I will then argue that the answer to the question is ‘No’ (with a qualification). In the second part, I shall argue that his view is correct. I (...)
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  16. Malagasy Time Conceptions.Casey Woodling - 2017 - Comparative Philosophy 8 (1):63-81.
    In this paper I discuss Øyvind Dahl’s argument for the conclusion that Malagasy people conceive of the future as coming from behind them and not as being before them as most worldviews do. I argue that we have good reason not to attribute this view to Malagasy people. First, it would mark an inefficient and anomalous way of keeping track of the past and future. Second, the linguistic and testimonial evidence presented by Dahl doesn’t support the conclusion. Even though this (...)
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  17. The Puzzle of the Changing Past.L. Barlassina & F. Del Prete - 2015 - Analysis 75 (1):59-67.
    If you utter sentence (1) ‘Obama was born in 1961’ now, you say something true about the past. Since the past will always be such that the year 1961 has the property of being a time in which Obama was born, it seems impossible that could ever be false in a future context of utterance. We shall consider the case of a sentence about the past exactly like (1), but which was true when uttered a few years ago and is (...)
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  18. The Puzzle of the Changing Past.Luca Barlassina & Fabio Del Prete - 2015 - Analysis 75 (1):59-67.
    If you utter sentence ‘Obama was born in 1961’ now, you say something true about the past. Since the past will always be such that the year 1961 has the property of being a time in which Obama was born, it seems impossible that could ever be false in a future context of utterance. We shall consider the case of a sentence about the past exactly like , but which was true when uttered a few years ago and is no (...)
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  19. Tense and the Psychology of Relief.Christoph Hoerl - 2015 - Topoi 34 (1):217-231.
    At the centre of Arthur Prior’s ‘Thank goodness’ argument for the A-theory of time is a particular form of relief. Time must objectively pass, Prior argues, or else the relief felt when a painful experience has ended is not intelligible. In this paper, I offer a detailed analysis of the type of relief at issue in this argument, which I call temporal relief, and distinguish it from another form of relief, which I refer to as counterfactual relief. I also argue (...)
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  20. Temporality: Universals and Variation.Maria Bittner - 2014 - Wiley-Blackwell.
    This book surveys the ways in which languages of different types refer to past, present, and future events and how these referents are related to the knowledge and attitudes of discourse participants. The book is the culmination of fifteen years of research by the author. Four major language types are examined in-depth: tense-based English, tense-aspect-based Polish, aspect-based Chinese, and mood-based Kalaallisut. Each contributes to a series of logical representation languages, which together define a common logical language that is argued to (...)
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  21. Eternal God: Divine Atemporality in Thomas Aquinas.John H. Boyer - 2014 - In Darci N. Hill (ed.), News from the Raven: Essays from Sam Houston State University on Medieval and Renaissance Thought. Newcastle upon Tyne, UK: pp. 262-285.
    The recent trend among many philosophers of religion has been to interpret divine eternity as an everlasting temporality in which an omnitemporal God exists in and throughout the whole of time. This is in contrast to the classical account of divine eternity as atemporal, immutable existence. In this paper, Aquinas' use of Boethius's definition of eternity as “the whole, perfect, and simultaneous possession of endless life” is analyzed and explained in contradistinction to Aristotle's definition of time. This analysis is then (...)
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  22. The Interpretation of Indefinites in Future Tensed Sentences. A Novel Argument for the Modality of Will?Fabio Del Prete - 2014 - In Mikhail Kissine, Philippe de Brabanter & Saghie Sharifzadeh (eds.), Oxford Studies of Time in Language and Thought.
    The chapter considers two semantic issues concerning will-sentences: Stalnaker’s Asymmetry and modal subordination in Karttunen-type discourses. The former points to a distinction between will and modal verbs, seeming to show that will does not license non-specific indefinites. The latter, conversely, suggests that will-sentences involve some kind of modality. To account for the data, the chapter proposes that will is semantically a tense, hence it doesn’t contribute a quantifier over modal alternatives; a modal feature, however, is introduced in the interpretation of (...)
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  23. Experience, Thought, and the Metaphysics of Time.Simon Prosser - 2013 - In Kasia M. Jaszczolt & Louis de Saussure (eds.), Time: Language, Cognition & Reality. Oxford University Press. pp. 1--157.
    In this chapter I argue that there can be no mental representation of objective ‘tensed’ features of reality of the kind that might be thought to occur when we experience time passing or think of times as past, present or future, whether or not such features are part of mind-independent reality. This, I hold, has important consequences for metaphysics; but (as will be most relevant to this volume) it is also likely to have important consequences for a correct semantics for (...)
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  24. On Two Arguments for Temporally Neutral Propositions.Vasilis Tsompanidis - 2013 - Disputatio 5 (37):329-337.
    Tsompanidis, Vasilis_On Two Arguments for Temporally Neutral Propositions.
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  25. Temporalism and Composite Tense Operators.Dan Zeman - 2013 - Disputatio 5 (37):323-328.
    This is my contribution to a symposium on Berit Brogaard's book "Transient Truths" in which I criticize her treatment of various linguistic phenomena related to tense.
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  26. Serious Copula-Tensing.Daisuke Kachi - 2012 - Interdisciplinary Ontology 5:67-73.
    M. Johnston proposed an adverbialist solution to the problem of intrinsic change for enduring things. D. Lewis interpreted it as a way of tensing the copula. In his view, it has the defect of replacing the having simpliciter of a property by the standing in a triadic relation to a property and a time, and so is threatened by Bradley’s Regress. I agree with Lewis on requiring the having a property to be non-relational, while I disagree with him on restricting (...)
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  27. Eternalism and Propositional Multitasking: In Defence of the Operator Argument.Clas Weber - 2012 - Synthese 189 (1):199-219.
    It is a widely held view in philosophy that propositions perform a plethora of different theoretical roles. Amongst other things, they are believed to be the semantic values of sentences in contexts, the objects of attitudes, the contents of illocutionary acts, and the referents of that-clauses. This assumption is often combined with the claim that propositions have their truth-values eternally. In this paper I aim to show that these two assumptions are incompatible: propositions cannot both fulfill the mentioned roles and (...)
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  28. Time and Modality Without Tenses or Modals.Maria Bittner - 2011 - In Renate Musan & Monika Rathert (eds.), Tense across Languages. Niemeyer. pp. 147--188.
    In English, discourse reference to time involves grammatical tenses interpreted as temporal anaphors. Recently, it has been argued that conditionals involve modal discourse anaphora expressed by a parallel grammatical system of anaphoric modals. Based on evidence from Kalaallisut, this paper argues that temporal and modal anaphora can be just as precise in a language that does not have either grammatical category. Instead, temporal anaphora directly targets eventualities of verbs, without mediating tenses, while modal anaphora involves anaphoric moods and/or attitudinal verbs.
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  29. Time in Cognitive Development.Christoph Hoerl & Teresa McCormack - 2011 - In Craig Callender (ed.), The Oxford Handbook of Philosophy of Time. Oxford: Oxford University Press. pp. 439-459.
    This is a comprehensive book on the philosophy of time. Leading philosophers discuss the metaphysics of time, our experience and representation of time, the role of time in ethics and action, and philosophical issues in the sciences of time, especially quantum mechanics and relativity theory.
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  30. Approximating the Limit: The Interaction Between Quasi 'Almost' and Some Temporal Connectives in Italian.Amaral Patrícia & Del Prete Fabio - 2010 - Linguistics and Philosophy 33 (2):51 - 115.
    This paper focuses on the interpretation of the Italian approximative adverb quasi 'almost' by primarily looking at cases in which it modifies temporal connectives, a domain which, to our knowledge, has been largely unexplored thus far. Consideration of this domain supports the need for a scalar account of the semantics of quasi (close in spirit to Hitzeman's semantic analysis of almost, in: Canakis et al. (eds) Papers from the 28th regional meeting of the Chicago Linguistic Society, 1992). When paired with (...)
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  31. Time, Context, and Cross-Temporal Claims.Giuliano Torrengo - 2010 - Philosophia 38 (2):281-296.
    I present a new problem for the tense realist concerning the evaluation of cross-temporal claims, such as ‘John is now taller than Michael was in 1984’. Time can play two different roles in the evaluation of an utterance of a sentence: either as an element that completes the content expressed by the utterance (the completion role), or as part of the circumstances against which the content is evaluated (the evaluation role). It is this latter role that time plays in the (...)
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  32. Combination of Tense and Modality - Richmond Thomason. [REVIEW]Andrea Iacona - 2009 - Humana Mente 3 (8).
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  33. Aspectual Universals of Temporal Anaphora.Maria Bittner - 2008 - In Susan Rothstein (ed.), Theoretical and Crosslinguistic Approaches to the Semantics of Aspect. John Benjamins. pp. 11--349.
    It has long been recognized that temporal anaphora in French and English depends on the aspectual distinction between events and states. For example, temporal location as well as temporal update depends on the aspectual type. This paper presents a general theory of aspect-based temporal anaphora, which extends from languages with grammatical tenses (like French and English) to tenseless languages (e.g. Kalaallisut). This theory also extends to additional aspect-dependent phenomena and to non-atomic aspectual types, processes and habits, which license anaphora to (...)
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  34. A Non-Uniform Semantic Analysis of the Italian Temporal Connectives Prima and Dopo.Del Prete Fabio - 2008 - Natural Language Semantics 16 (2):157-203.
    In this paper, I argue that the temporal connective prima (‘before’) is a comparative adverb. The argument is based on a number of grammatical facts from Italian, showing that there is an asymmetry between prima and dopo (‘after’). On the ground of their divergent behaviour, I suggest that dopo has a different grammatical status from prima. I propose a semantic treatment for prima that is based on an independently motivated analysis of comparatives which can be traced back to Seuren (in: (...)
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  35. Time, Tense, Truth.Katalin Farkas - 2008 - Synthese 160 (2):269 - 284.
    Abstract: A theory of time is a theory of the nature of temporal reality, and temporal reality determines the truth-value of temporal sentences. Therefore it is reasonable to ask how a theory of time can account for the way the truth of temporal sentences is determined. This poses certain challenges for both the A theory and the B theory of time. In this paper, I outline an account of temporal sentences. The key feature of the account is that the primary (...)
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  36. Temporal Decentering and the Development of Temporal Concepts.Teresa McCormack & Christoph Hoerl - 2008 - In P. Indefrey & M. Gullberg (eds.), Time to Speak. Cognitive and Neural Prerequisites of Time in Language. Blackwell. pp. 89-113.
    This article reviews some recent research on the development of temporal cognition, with reference to Weist's (1989) account of the development of temporal understanding. Weist's distinction between two levels of temporal decentering is discussed, and empirical studies that may be interpreted as measuring temporal decentering are described. We argue that if temporal decentering is defined simply in terms of the coordination of the temporal locations of three events, it may fail to fully capture the properties of mature temporal understanding. Characterizing (...)
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  37. ‘You’ and ‘I’, ‘Here’ and ‘Now’: Spatial and Social Situatedness in Deixis.Beata Stawarska - 2008 - International Journal of Philosophical Studies 16 (3):399 – 418.
    I examine the ordinary-language use of deictic terms, notably the personal, spatial and temporal markers 'I' and 'you', 'here' and 'now', in order to make manifest that their meaning is inextricably embedded within a pragmatic, perceptual and interpersonal situation. This inextricable embeddedness of deixis within the shared natural and social world suggests, I contend, an I-you connectedness at the heart of meaning and experience. The thesis of I-you connectedness extends to the larger claim about the situatedness of embodied perceivers within (...)
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  38. Online Update: Temporal, Modal, and de Se Anaphora in Polysynthetic Discourse.Maria Bittner - 2007 - In Chris Barker & Pauline Jacobson (eds.), Direct Compositionality. Oxford University Press. pp. 11--363.
    This paper introduces a framework for direct surface composition by online update. The surface string is interpreted as is, with each morpheme in turn updating the input state of information and attention. A formal representation language, Logic of Centering, is defined and some crosslinguistic constraints on lexical meanings and compositional operations are formulated.
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  39. Temporal Metaphysics in Z-Land.Simon Prosser - 2006 - Synthese 149 (1):77 - 96.
    John Perry has argued that language, thought and experience often contain unarticulated constituents. I argue that this idea holds the key to explaining away the intuitive appeal of the A-theory of time and the endurance theory of persistence. The A-theory has seemed intuitively appealing because the nature of temporal experience makes it natural for us to use one-place predicates like past to deal with what are really two-place relations, one of whose constituents is unarticulated. The endurance view can be treated (...)
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  40. Future Discourse in a Tenseless Language.Maria Bittner - 2005 - Journal of Semantics 22 (4):339-87.
    The Eskimo language Kalaallisut (alias West Greenlandic) has traditionally been described as having a rich tense system, with three future tenses (Kleinschmidt 1851, Bergsland 1955, Fortescue 1984) and possibly four past tenses (Fortescue 1984). Recently however, Shaer (2003) has challenged these traditional claims, arguing that Kalaallisut is in fact tenseless.
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  41. Children's Reasoning About the Causal Significance of the Temporal Order of Events.Teresa McCormack & Christoph Hoerl - 2005 - Developmental Psychology 41:54-63.
    Four experiments examined children's ability to reason about the causal significance of the order in which 2 events occurred (the pressing of buttons on a mechanically operated box). In Study 1, 4-year-olds were unable to make the relevant inferences, whereas 5-year-olds were successful on one version of the task. In Study 2, 3-year-olds were successful on a simplified version of the task in which they were able to observe the events although not their consequences. Study 3 found that older children (...)
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  42. Tensed Meaning.Heather Dyke - 2003 - Journal of Philosophical Research 28:65-81.
    If, as the new B-theory of time maintains, tensed sentences have tenseless truth conditions, it follows that it is possible for two sentence-tokens to have the sametruth conditions but different meanings. This conclusion forces a rethink of the traditional identification of truth conditions with meaning. There is an aspect of the meanings of tensed sentences that is not captured by their truth conditions, and that has so far eluded explanation. In this paper I intend to locate, examine, and explain this (...)
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  43. Desires, Scope, and Tense.Fara Delia Graff - 2003 - Philosophical Perspectives 17 (1):141-163.
    According to James McCawley (1981) and Richard Larson and Gabriel Segal (1995), the following sentence is three-ways ambiguous: -/- Harry wants to be the mayor of Kenai. -/- According to them also, the three-way ambiguity cannot be accommodated on the Russellian view that definite descriptions are quantified noun phrases. In order to capture the three-way ambiguity of the sentence, these authors propose that definite descriptions must be ambiguous: sometimes they are predicate expressions; sometimes they are Russellian quantified noun phrases. After (...)
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  44. Outline for a Truth-Conditional Semantics for Tense.Ernest Lepore & Kirk Ludwig - 2003 - In Quentin Smith & Aleksandar Jokic (eds.), Tense, Time and Reference. MIT Press. pp. 49-105.
    Our aim in the present paper is to investigate, from the standpoint of truth-theoretic semantics, English tense, temporal designators and quantifiers, and other expressions we use to relate ourselves and other things to the temporal order. Truth-theoretic semantics provides a particularly illuminating standpoint from which to discuss issues about the semantics of tense, and their relation to thoughts at, and about, times. Tense, and temporal modifiers, contribute systematically to conditions under which sentences we utter are true or false. A Tarski-style (...)
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  45. Semantics, Tense, and Time.Ned Markosian - 2001 - Journal of Philosophy 98 (6):325-329.
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  46. Memory, Amnesia, and the Past.Christoph Hoerl - 1999 - Mind and Language 14 (2):227-51.
    This paper defends the claim that, in order to have a concept of time, subjects must have memories of particular events they once witnessed. Some patients with severe amnesia arguably still have a concept of time. Two possible explanations of their grasp of this concept are discussed. They take as their respective starting points abilities preserved in the patients in question: (1) the ability to retain factual information over time despite being unable to recall the past event or situation that (...)
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  47. Memory and Temporal Perspective: The Role of Temporal Frameworks in Memory Development.Teresa McCormack & Christoph Hoerl - 1999 - Developmental Review 19:154-182.
    An account of the development of temporal understanding is proposed which links such understanding with the development of episodic memory. We distinguish between different ways of representing time in terms of the kinds of temporal frameworks they involve. Distinctions are made between frameworks that are perspectival or nonperspectival and those that represent recurrent sequences or particular times. Even primitive temporal understanding integrates both perspectival and nonperspectival components. However, since early frameworks are event-based and localized, they are not yet sufficient for (...)
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  48. Sense, Reference and Truth-Value Links.Christoph Hoerl - 1997 - In Georg Meggle (ed.), Analyomen 2: Proceedings of the 2nd conference 'Perspectives in analytical philosophy'. Vol. II: Philosophy of language, metaphysics. Berlin: de Gruyter. pp. 125-130.
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  49. On an Argument About Reference to Future Individuals.Graham Oppy - 1995 - Philosophical Quarterly 45 (178):84-87.
    This paper critically examines Roger Teichmann's defence of the claim that it is impossible to refer to future individuals. (Bibliographical details are provided in the article.).
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  50. Spatio-Temporal Analogies.Paul Needham - 1989 - In Sten Lindström & Wlodek Rabinowicz (eds.), In so Many Words Philosophical Essays Dedicated to Sven Danielsson on the Occasion of His Fiftieth Birthday. Uppsala, Sverige: pp. 379-402.
    An assessment of the similarities and differences between space and time has played an important part in the development of the views of a number of philosophers about time. Examples of statements about time are compared with allegedly corresponding statements about space to give us analogies and disanalogies according to whether the statements have the same or different truth values. But what are the general principles on which such comparisons are based? In particular, according to what criteria are corresponding sentences (...)
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