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Tense Logic and the Master Argument

Tense Logic and the Master Argument Richard Gaskin, University of Sussex The establishment in our century of the discipline of tense logic has, apart from its purely formal interest and the insights it has conferred into the functioning of natural language, immeasurably enhanced our ability to understand ancient and medieval discussions of time. But, as is the way of these things, the formal and philosophical advance has brought in its train problems, not merely of a formal but also of a philosophical nature. Discussion of these problems tends to be conducted in abstraction from the lucubrations of older philosophers on time and tense; similarly, investigation of the arguments of these older philoso- phers tends to proceed without regard to the philosophical issues surrounding the formalities adduced to reconstruct their arguments. In this paper I shall try to go some way towards bridging this gap for one old argument, the notori- ous Master Argument devised by Aristotle’s younger contemporary, Diodorus Cronus. My procedure will be as follows. In § I I shall outline a distinction, familiar from the work of Gareth Evans, between so-called “Tarskian” and “Fregean” ways of understanding tense-logical formulae; drawing this distinc- tion forces us to think more critically about what such formulae http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png History of Philosophy and Logical Analysis Brill

Tense Logic and the Master Argument

History of Philosophy and Logical Analysis , Volume 2 (1): 22 – Apr 5, 1999

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Publisher
Brill
Copyright
Copyright © Koninklijke Brill NV, Leiden, The Netherlands
ISSN
2666-4283
eISSN
2666-4275
DOI
10.30965/26664275-00201015
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Richard Gaskin, University of Sussex The establishment in our century of the discipline of tense logic has, apart from its purely formal interest and the insights it has conferred into the functioning of natural language, immeasurably enhanced our ability to understand ancient and medieval discussions of time. But, as is the way of these things, the formal and philosophical advance has brought in its train problems, not merely of a formal but also of a philosophical nature. Discussion of these problems tends to be conducted in abstraction from the lucubrations of older philosophers on time and tense; similarly, investigation of the arguments of these older philoso- phers tends to proceed without regard to the philosophical issues surrounding the formalities adduced to reconstruct their arguments. In this paper I shall try to go some way towards bridging this gap for one old argument, the notori- ous Master Argument devised by Aristotle’s younger contemporary, Diodorus Cronus. My procedure will be as follows. In § I I shall outline a distinction, familiar from the work of Gareth Evans, between so-called “Tarskian” and “Fregean” ways of understanding tense-logical formulae; drawing this distinc- tion forces us to think more critically about what such formulae

Journal

History of Philosophy and Logical AnalysisBrill

Published: Apr 5, 1999

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