Taking Tense Seriously
In this chapter we introduce the system of propositional tense logic that we will use throughout the book, clarify what it means to take tense seriously for the purposes of metaphysical enquiry, and clarify the contrast between dynamic and static conceptions of reality. In Sect. 1.1 we set out Arthur Prior’s operator approach to tense and distinguish between the grammatical and the logical notions of tense, which latter calls for a systematic regimentation of ordinary language. In Sect. 1.2 we present axioms governing non-metric temporal operators, including non-standard operators of the form ‘At t’. In Sect. 1.3 we use the notion of truth simpliciter to discern two broad types of metaphysical views that disagree on whether a complete description of reality requires the use of tense.