Experience, thought, and the metaphysics of time

In Kasia M. Jaszczolt & Louis de Saussure (eds.), Time: Language, Cognition & Reality. Oxford University Press. pp. 1--157 (2013)
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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 tense. In a nutshell, no correct semantics for tense can treat what philosophers call ‘A-properties’ (such as real pastness, presentness or futurity) as semantic values.

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Simon Prosser
University of St. Andrews


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