Explaining Tensed Belief

In K. Paykin-Arroučs & C. Majolino (eds.), Telling Time: Tensed and Temporal Meaning Between Philosophy and Linguistics. Cambridge Scholars Press. pp. 97-133 (2015)
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I attempt to set the stage for a constructive analysis of the nature and function of tensed belief as a distinct psychological type. After introducing tensed beliefs, I describe the philosophical issues that implicate them, including Prior’s “ thank goodness it’s over ” argument against the B-theory of time. I proceed to flesh out, and then argue against, two traditional treatments of tensed belief from the philosophy of time: the A-theoretic view, which starts from present facts or properties, and Hugh Mellor's B-theoretic reply, which starts from the tenseless properties of tensed belief tokens. The explanatory failure of the former shows that, pace Prior, the existence of tensed attitudes does not favor the A-theory, while the failure of both shows that there are still explanatory gaps that we need to fill. I conclude by offering a working definition of tensed belief and the ideal methodology for filling out these explanatory gaps in future study.
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First archival date: 2015-11-21
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