Talking About the Past
First Online: 15 February 2013 Received: 21 April 2011 Accepted: 03 February 2013 DOI:
Cite this article as: Baron, S. Erkenn (2013) 78: 547. doi:10.1007/s10670-013-9434-7 Abstract
In this paper I consider the aboutness objection against standard truth-preserving presentism (STP). According to STP: (1) past-directed propositions (propositions that seem to be about the past) like <Caesar crossed the Rubicon> , are sometimes true (2) truth supervenes on being and (3) the truth of past-directed propositions does not supervene on how things were, in the past. According to the aboutness objection (3) is implausible, given (1) and (2): for any proposition,
P, P ought to be true in virtue of what P is about, and so it is upon the past that the truth of past-directed propositions ought to supervene. Although an objection along these lines has been offered previously, I press the objection in two ways. First, by providing needed support for the view that propositions ought to be true in virtue of what they are about and, second, by arguing that the two responses available to the proponent of STP fail to be compelling.
Research on this paper was funded by a John Templeton Foundation grant held by Huw Price, Alex Holcombe, Kristie Miller, and Dean Rickles, entitled:
New Agendas for the Study of Time: Connecting the Disciplines. References
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