A.N. Prior’s Notion of the Present

  • David Jakobsen
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 6789)


This paper presents a fresh look at A.N. Prior’s Notion of The Present (1970), in order to cast light on the article through Prior’s own notes from the Bodleian library. This will be done in order to evaluate two critiques of Prior’s notion of the present: That is self-contradictory (see [17]), and that it is unable to account for change (see [6]). This article will argue that a revisit to Prior’s notes will provide clarity at places where confusion gives ground to criticism of Prior’s definition as self-contradictory. The notes will also underline how radical Prior’s notion of the present is, and that he was aware of it. They thus help us to see more clearly what Prior actually meant by saying that the present is the real considered in relation to two realms of unreality, namely the past and the future.


Ontology A.N. Prior Time and existence Tense-logic Presentism 


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© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • David Jakobsen
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Communication and PsychologyAalborg UniversityAalborg EastDenmark

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