Other Times: Philosophical Perspectives on Past, Present and Future

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Cambridge University Press, Oct 23, 1997 - Philosophy - 355 pages
We view things from a certain position in time: in our language, thought, feelings and actions, we draw distinctions between what has happened, is happening, and will happen. Frequently, approaches to this feature of our lives - those seen in disputes between tensed and tenseless theories, between realist and anti-realist treatments of past and future, and in accounts of historical knowledge - embody serious misunderstandings of the character of the issues; they misconstrue the relation between metaphysics and ethics, and the way to characterize the kind of sense which tensed language has. David Cockburn argues that the notion of 'reasons for emotion' must have a central place in any account of meaning, and that the present should have no priority in our understanding of tense. This allows for a more satisfactory articulation of the place of past, present and future in our thought, and of the form which criticism of our thought might take.
 

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Contents

Introduction
3
Under the aspect of eternity
14
The view from here
36
Memory emotions and the past
50
The role of tense
72
Tense and ontology
97
The passage of time
129
PART TWO Past present and future
165
The present
167
The reality of the future
205
Testimony history and the real past
243
PART THREE Time and eternity
321
Time and eternity in Spinoza and Weil
323
Bibliography
344
Index
353
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