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Transcendental Tense

D. H. Mellor and J. R. Lucas
Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society, Supplementary Volumes
Vol. 72 (1998), pp. 29-43+45-56
Published by: Wiley on behalf of The Aristotelian Society
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/4107012
Page Count: 27
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Transcendental Tense
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Abstract

[D. H. Mellor] Kant's claim that our knowledge of time is transcendental in his sense, while false of time itself, is true of tenses, i.e. of the locations of events and other temporal entities in McTaggart's A series. This fact can easily, and I think only, be explained by taking time itself to be real but tenseless. /// [J. R. Lucas] Mellor's argument from Kant fails. The difficulties in his first Antinomy are due to topological confusions, not the tensed nature of time. Nor are McTaggart' s difficulties due to the tensed nature of time. The ego-centricity of tensed discourse is an essential feature of communication between selves, each of whom refers himself as 'I', and is required for talking about time as well as experience and agency. Arguments based on the Special Theory are misconceived. Some rest on a confused notion of 'topological simultaneity'. In the General Theory a cosmic time is defined, as also in quantum mechanics, where a natural present is defined by a unique hyperplane of collapse into eigen-ness.

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