Truth, Time and History: A Philosophical Enquiry
Botros (Sophie)
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BOOK ABSTRACT:

Bloomsbury Book Description

  1. Truth, Time and History investigates the reality of the past by connecting arguments across areas which are conventionally discussed in isolation from each other.
  2. Breaking the impasse within the narrower analytic debate between Dummett's semantic anti-realists and the truth value link realists as to whether the past exists independently of our methods of verification, the book argues, through an examination of the puzzles concerning identity over time, that only the present exists. Drawing on Lewis's analogy between times and possible worlds, and work by Collingwood and Oakeshott, and the continental philosopher, Barthes, the author advances a wholly novel proposal, as to how aspects of ersatz presentism may be combined with historical coherentism to uphold the legitimacy of discourse about the past.
  3. In highlighting the role of historians in the creation and construction of temporality, Truth, Time and History offers a convincing philosophical argument for the inherence of an unreal past in the real present.

Contents1
  1. Truth
    1. The Realist/Anti-Realist Wars – 3
      1. Dummett’s reconfiguration of the debate – 4
      2. The realists play their trump card – 19
      3. The realist appeal to memory – 36
    2. Projection, Analogy and Meaning – 43
      1. Projection: an anti-realist haunted realist strategy – 44
      2. The truth-value link again – 60
  2. Time
    1. Tense Theory – 67
      1. A continuity that tolerates discontinuity – 68
      2. Presentist and non-presentist tensed solutions – 79
      3. Truth-value link realists within the tensed-tenseless spectrum – 88
    2. Caught in a Timeless Leibnizian Net2 – 95
      1. Property and essence – 96
      2. Essence as dynamic – 107
    3. Presentism and Modality – 121
      1. The truth-maker lacks structure – 124
      2. The truth-maker is “hypothetical” – 134
      3. Presentists, anti-realists: Russell’s “five minute hypothesis” – 142
  3. History
    1. Collingwood and Oakeshott: Is History Possible3? – 149
      1. Collingwood: “history is the re-enactment of past thought” – 154
      2. Historical idealism: a revolutionary conception of evidence? – 172
      3. Collingwood’s “question and answer” at Hadrian’s Wall – 181
    2. A Realist Present and a Coherentist Past – 191
      1. Can historical texts really replace ersatz times as truth-makers? – 193
      2. The history / fiction controversies – 211
        Conclusion – 229
    Notes – 231
    Bibliography – 256
    Index – 265



In-Page Footnotes ("Botros (Sophie) - Truth, Time and History: A Philosophical Enquiry")

Footnote 1: Footnote 2: Footnote 3:
BOOK COMMENT:
  • Bloomsbury Academic, London, September 2017
  • Gift from Sophie



"Botros (Sophie) - The Realist/Anti-Realist Wars"

Source: Botros (Sophie) - Truth, Time and History: Part I (Truth), Chapter 1


Contents
    Introduction – 3
  1. Dummett’s reconfiguration of the debate – 4
    1. Selective anti-realism: the importance of reduction – 4
    2. Curbing heterogeneity – 7
    3. Three moves towards semantic anti-realism – 8
    4. Two attempts to get realists off Dummett’s metaphysical ‘hook’ – 15
      1. Wright, deflationism and superassertibility – 15
      2. Norris, projectivism and conceptually structured properties – 17
  2. The realists play their trump card – 19
    1. The circumvention of evidence: Present → Future – 20
      1. A past-tensed statement whose future utterance is made true by an event now – 20
      2. Anti-realists’ response: but ‘true’ means ‘verifiable now’ – 21
      3. A standpoint outside time versus immurement in the present – 22
    2. The circumvention of evidence: Past → Present – 23
      1. A past-tensed statement whose utterance now is made true by a past event – 23
      2. The reinterpreted truth value link applied to the revised verification principle – 24
      3. The collapse of ‘verifiable now’ into ‘verifiable at that time’ – 24
    3. The circumvention of evidence: Future → Present – 25
      1. Anti-realists ‘don’t assume that the verification principle must have retrospective reach!’ – 25
      2. A future-tensed statement whose utterance now is made true by a future event – 27
      3. Realists: ‘one cannot subscribe to a principle one says will not hold in a year’s time!’ – 27
      4. The threat to realism from fatalism defused – 28
      5. Anti-realism: ‘but “true” will not mean the same in a year’s time’ – 30
      6. Anti-realists: ‘we cannot express the meaning which we shall attach to “true” in a year’s time’ – 32
      7. Past facts let in ‘by the back door’ – 35
  3. The realist appeal to memory – 36
    1. Models of memory: mental image and physical trace – 36
    2. Memory not an atemporal yardstick – 37
    3. Robert Southey’s ‘The Battle of Blenheim’ – 38



"Botros (Sophie) - Projection, Analogy and Meaning"

Source: Botros (Sophie) - Truth, Time and History: Part I (Truth), Chapter 2


Contents
    Introduction – 43
  1. Projection: an anti-realist haunted realist strategy – 44
    1. A preliminary appeal to ‘implicit’, and ‘indirect’, knowledge – 44
    2. Difficulties in setting up the strategy – 45
      1. The shortfall between justification and truth: the slide to subjectivism – 46
      2. The flawed parallel between present-tensed observation, and first-person sensation, statements – 48
    3. Objections to the strategy once set up – 49
      1. ‘Reference to the past has not been completely expunged’ – 49
      2. McDowell’s refutation – ‘[It countenances] a leap beyond the bounds of awareness’
      3. The spurious appeal to ‘same sort’: Wittgenstein again – 51
      4. Why the truth value link fails to underwrite projection – 54
      5. McDowell’s revised realist proposal – 56
    4. The Wittgenstein background – 58
  2. The truth-value link again – 60
    1. Anti-realist emasculation of the truth value link – 60
    2. Dummett: the truth value link realists cannot account for our ‘living in time’ – 62



"Botros (Sophie) - Tense Theory"

Source: Botros (Sophie) - Truth, Time and History: Part II (Time), Chapter 3


Contents
    Introduction – 67
  1. A continuity that tolerates discontinuity – 68
    1. A spectrum of positions on time and change – 68
      1. Two intermediate positions: ‘simple temporal passage’ versus ‘alteration in properties’ – 68
    2. Difficulties raised by the notion of ‘alteration in properties’: eternalist solutions – 71
      1. The contradictory properties ascribed to distinct temporal parts – 72
      2. ‘But it must be the object itself which has the contradictory properties, otherwise it cannot lose or gain them’ – 72
      3. Sider’s stage theory: an attempt to meet the ‘proper subject condition’ – 74
      4. Haslanger and the denial that persistence requires identity – 76
      5. A lacuna in the eternalist account of the difficulty with change: Leibniz’s Law introduced – 77
      6. The problem of combining continuity and discontinuity again – 78
  2. Presentist and non-presentist tensed solutions – 79
    1. Presentism introduced – 79
      1. Presently existing ‘bearers’ contrasted with other notions of grounds, realist and verificationist – 80
      2. Lucretius and the idea that a past-tensed property can shift from one bearer to another – 81
    2. Advantages of presentism – 82
      1. A present with remarkable temporal ‘depth’ – 82
      2. Lucretius’s ‘shifting bearer’ – 83
    3. Objections to presentism – 85
    4. Non-presentist tensed theories: two proposals – 85
      1. Lowe: past and present as irreducibly tensed modes of existence – 86
  3. Truth-value link realists within the tensed-tenseless spectrum – 88
    1. Truth value link presentism and presentism – 88
    2. Truth value link realists and eternalism – 89
    3. Truth value link realism and non-presentist-tensed theory – 91
    4. Dummett’s charge regarding ‘living in time’ rejected – 93



"Botros (Sophie) - Caught in a Timeless Leibnizian Net"

Source: Botros (Sophie) - Truth, Time and History: Part II (Time), Chapter 4


Contents
    Introduction – 95
  1. Property and essence – 96
    1. ‘All an entity’s properties are essential’: the argument from everyday discourse – 96
    2. All an entity’s properties ‘flow from’ its essence: the argument from science – 99
      1. Fine, Gorman, Copi and a preliminary example from chemistry – 99
      2. The scientific pessimism behind Locke’s distinction between real and nominal essences – 100
      3. Opposing the pessimism: for and against – 101
      4. Why atomic number cannot explain all an entity’s other properties: hydrogen, helium, iron – 102
      5. Philosophical unclarity about atomic number, and the relation of essence to properties – 104
      6. Leibniz’s principle of the indiscernibility of identity affirmed – 106
  2. Essence as dynamic – 107
    1. First strategy: Leibniz’s Law governs different notions of identity – 107
      1. Diachronic / synchronic identity – 107
      2. Relative/absolute identity – 108
    2. Second strategy: Leibniz’s Law is applied to persistence and survival conditions – 109
      1. ‘Continuants’ as basic to immediate experience – 110
      2. The ‘true’ claim that identity judgements must conform to Leibniz distinguished from the ‘false’ one that they must be reached via Leibniz – 111
      3. Argument from ‘unworkability’ for the falsity of the last claim – 112
      4. Why Leibniz’s Principle of the Identity of Indiscernibles cannot help – 113
      5. But can our identity judgements conform to Leibniz if they are not reached via Leibniz? – 113
      6. Objections to temporal parts theorists, Gabbay and Moravscik – 115
      7. The paradox of change again – 116
    3. Implications for truth value link realism as a non-presentist tensed theory – 119



"Botros (Sophie) - Presentism and Modality"

Source: Botros (Sophie) - Truth, Time and History: Part II (Time), Chapter 5


Contents
    Introduction – 121
  1. The truth-maker lacks structure – 124
    1. Haecceities and surrogates – 124
    2. Ersatz times – 126
      1. The abstract/concrete distinction – 128
      2. ‘Everything is instantaneous’ – 129
      3. The shifting truth maker – 130
      4. The truth value link again: why presentism cannot rehabilitate it – 131
      5. The ersatz series and the course of history – 133
  2. The truth-maker is “hypothetical” – 134
    1. Categoricity is not a panacea for all the ills of dubious ontologies – 134
    2. Prospects for micro physical reductions of dispositions – 137
      1. The trouble with dispositions is that they are Meinongian (Armstrong) – 137
      2. For and against Armstrong’s micro-physical reduction – 137
    3. Comparison of dispositional with past-tensed properties – 138
      1. Directedness, intentionality and indeterminacy – 139
      2. Crisp: the distinction between dispositions and past-tensed properties – 139
  3. Presentists, anti-realists: Russell’s “five minute hypothesis” – 142



"Botros (Sophie) - Collingwood and Oakeshott: Is History Possible?"

Source: Botros (Sophie) - Truth, Time and History: Part III (History), Chapter 6


Contents
    Introduction – 149
  1. Collingwood: “history is the re-enactment of past thought” – 154
    1. Transitoriness: a special problem for history among the social sciences – 154
    2. The re-enactment of past thought: preliminary clarifications – 157
    3. Contribution of the past act of thought to re-enactment – 159
      1. The machinery of ‘two orders’ – 159
      2. The thought/feeling and action/movement distinctions – 161
      3. Counting acts of thought by reference to their content – 164
      4. Collingwood’s appeal to common linguistic usage: the two orders again – 168
  2. Historical idealism: a revolutionary conception of evidence? – 172
    1. Three key features, and the notion of evidence that they give rise to – 173
    2. ‘Everything in the world is potential evidence for any subject whatever’ (Collingwood, 1953:280)
  3. Collingwood’s “question and answer” at Hadrian’s Wall – 181



"Botros (Sophie) - A Realist Present and a Coherentist Past"

Source: Botros (Sophie) - Truth, Time and History: Part III (History), Chapter 7


Contents
    Introduction – 191
  1. Can historical texts really replace ersatz times as truth-makers? – 193
    1. Are they sufficiently similar? – 193
      1. Absence of a ‘realist, reductive, truth-making structure’ – 193
      2. A literary precedent for transferring truth making to the historical text – 195
      3. The realist backlash, and Lewis’s competing view about fictional truth laid bare – 196
    2. Are historical texts sufficiently different from ersatz times? – 199
      1. Lewisian objections: ‘Completeness’, ‘Plenitude’, etc. – 199
      2. ‘Radical presentist’ objections – 202
      3. Texts, authored and unauthored; story prefixes, transparent and opaque – 203
    3. How historians arrange events in order of time – 204
      1. The myth of the ‘ideal chronicler’ – 204
      2. Choosing a time frame to suit one’s narrative: Thucydides’ Peloponnesian War – 206
      3. The less than radical truth behind Williams claim that Thucydides invented linear time – 207
      4. Methods of determining linear succession: ‘archaeological horizons’ – 210
  2. The history / fiction controversies – 211
    1. Is history sufficiently like fiction to count as a narrative form? – 211
      1. Aristotle’s Poetics and the tension between history’s linearity and dramatic unity – 212
      2. Periodisation and Mink’s claim that ‘history has a beginning, a middle, and an end’ – 214
      3. Barthes, Carlyle and the dramatic subversion of linear time – 216
    2. Is history sufficiently different from fiction not to be dismissed as a ‘sanctioned pretence’? – 217
      1. Modal fictionalism: truth within the scope of a (silent) story prefix – 218
    3. ‘Realism about the present, coherentism about the past’: the remainder of our proposal explained and defended – 223
      1. Texts, theories: robust enough to be realist truth makers? Modal fictionalism again – 223
      2. Texts, as actually existing abstract cultural creations, transferred to historical domain – 224
      3. Rejection of a realist reduction that ‘goes all the way down’ and appeal to different levels of discourse – 227
  3. Conclusion – 229



"Botros (Sophie) - Truth, Time and History: Bibliography"

Source: Botros (Sophie) - Truth, Time and History


Sophie has supplied an extensive bibliography. Not all of it is relevant to my needs. I’ve decided to list those books and papers I’ve either got, or ought to have. No doubt I’ll miss some important works, particularly related to the “History” aspect of the book, but life’s too short for everything. Where I’ve not got the book or paper, but have hopes of acquiring it, I’ve cited the author.




In-Page Footnotes ("Botros (Sophie) - Truth, Time and History: Bibliography")

Footnote 1: I’ve not bought this book, and probably won’t as it’s out of date and fairly expensive.

Footnote 2: Why not "Mellor (D.H.) - Real Time II"?



Text Colour Conventions (see disclaimer)
  1. Blue: Text by me; © Theo Todman, 2017
  2. Mauve: Text by correspondent(s) or other author(s); © the author(s)



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