Tense, Timely Action and Self-Ascription

Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 80 (1):112-132 (2010)
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I consider whether the self-ascription theory can succeed in providing a tenseless (B-theoretic) account of tensed belief and timely action. I evaluate an argument given by William Lane Craig for the conclusion that the self-ascription account of tensed belief entails a tensed theory (A-theory) of time. I claim that how one formulates the selfascription account of tensed belief depends upon whether one takes the subject of selfascription to be a momentary person-stage or an enduring person. I provide two different formulations of the self-ascription account of tensed belief, one that is compatible with a perdurantist account of persons and the other that is compatible with an endurantist account of persons. I argue that a self-ascription account of tensed beliefs for enduring subjects most plausibly involves the self-ascription of relations rather than properties. I argue that whether one takes the subject of self-ascription to be a momentary personstage or an enduring person, the self-ascription theory provides a plausible B-theoretic account of how tensed belief and timely action are possible

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Stephan Torre
University of Aberdeen


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