Tense, Perspectival Properties, and Special Relativity
Ludlow (Peter)
Source: Manuscrito: Revista Internacional de Filosofia, Campinas (Brazil): Vol. 39, no. 4, pp. 49-74, Oct - Dec 2016
Paper - Abstract

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Author’s Abstract

  1. Tensism is the view that tense is not merely a property of language and the mind (narrowly individuated), but of the world itself.
  2. Perspectivalism extends this idea to all perspectival properties be they person (e.g. first person vs. second) or locational (e.g. here vs there).
  3. One challenge that perspectivalism faces is the problem of expressing the contents of the beliefs and utterances of persons that are in other perspectival positions.
  4. One proposed solution to this problem is to allow for semantic theories that “realign” the expression of contents so that the contents expressed by persons in other perspectival positions can be re-expressed from one’s own perspectival position.
  5. In this paper I argue that a similar semantic realignment strategy could be deployed in helping perspectivalists generally (and presentists in particular) come to grips with a puzzle raised by the Special Theory of Relativity.
  6. In short, the strategy is to realign the expression of contents in another inertial frame so that they are expressed from within your inertial frame.
  7. As we will see, the strategy is not puzzle free.


For the full text, see Ludlow - Tense, Perspectival Properties, and Special Relativity.

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