Language and Time

Paperback | May 15, 2002

byQuentin Smith

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This book offers a defense of the tensed theory of time, a critique of the New Theory of Reference, and an argument that simultaneity is absolute. Although Smith rejects ordinary language philosophy, he shows how it is possible to argue from the nature of language to the nature of reality.Specifically, he argues that semantic properties of tensed sentences are best explained by the hypothesis that they ascribe to events temporal properties of futurity, presentness, or pastness and do not merely ascribe relations of earlier than or simultaneity. He criticizes the New Theory ofReference, which holds that "now" refers directly to a time and does not ascribe the property of presentness. Smith does not adopt the old or Fregean theory of reference but develops a third alternative, based on his detailed theory of de re and de dicto propositions and a theory of cognitivesignificance. He concludes the book with a lengthy critique of Einstein's theory of time. Smith offers a positive argument for absolute simultaneity based on his theory that all propositions exist in time. He shows how Einstein's relativist temporal concepts are reducible to a conjunction ofabsolutist temporal concepts and relativist nontemporal concepts of the observable behavior of light rays, rigid bodies, and the like.

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This book offers a defense of the tensed theory of time, a critique of the New Theory of Reference, and an argument that simultaneity is absolute. Although Smith rejects ordinary language philosophy, he shows how it is possible to argue from the nature of language to the nature of reality.Specifically, he argues that semantic properti...

Quentin Smith is at Eastern Michigan University.

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Format:PaperbackDimensions:272 pages, 5.98 × 9.09 × 0.91 inPublished:May 15, 2002Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0195155947

ISBN - 13:9780195155945

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"Quentin Smith has produced a masterpiece....Language and Time will be regarded as the classic statement of the new tensed theory of time."--The Philosophical Review