Change, Cause and Contradiction: A Defence Of The Tenseless by Robin Le Poidevin

By Robin Le Poidevin

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Lewis's complaints about 'ersatzist' theories of possible worlds (1986)). Now I suggest that this problem is much more severe if the propositional theory is combined with reductionist anti-realism over other times. The solipsist characterizes times as conjunctions of contemporaneously true propositions about events/states of affairs. Consequently, times which are qualitatively indistinguishable are numerically identical on this theory. Nietzsche's picture of infinitely recurring history would thus be ruled out as incoherent.

But in any case, we can construct a problem which clearly does not rest upon deterministic premises, as follows. One supposedly tense logical version of Leibniz's Law structurally parallel to 5 is A counterexample to 6 is provided by the case of the fusion of two individuals, x andy, where prior to the fusion, x was <1> andy was not . At the end of his discussion, Prior recommends that Leibniz's Law be abandoned, or at least seriously modified. Need we accept this? One alternative strategy is to insist that Leibniz's Law applies only to bona fide properties, and that time-relativised properties (like 'was going to be red') are not included in these.

But then this is the very nature of tensed descriptions: different tokens will pick out different times, and so may differ in truth-value. Unless tensed tokens had this property, they would not adequately reflect the supposed temporal facts of A-series change. Each token tensed description will, for the Tensed theorist, give a complete description of reality for the time of use. e. temporally extended reality - and is in that sense incomplete, but why should we expect it to be complete in this sense?

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