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Main page » Non-Fiction » The Language and Reality of Time

The Language and Reality of Time


Thomas Sattig's book develops a comprehensive framework for doing philosophy of time. He brings together a variety of different perspectives, linking our ordinary conception of time with the physicist's conception, and linking questions about time addressed in metaphysics with questions addressed in the philosophy of language. Within this framework, Sattig explores the temporal dimension of the material world in relation to the temporal dimension of our ordinary discourse about the world. The discussion is centred around the dispute between three-dimensionalists and four-dimensionalists about whether the temporal profile of ordinary objects mirrors their spatial profile. Are ordinary objects extended in time in the same way in which they are extended in space? Do they have temporal as well as spatial parts? Four-dimensionalists say 'yes', three-dimensionalists say 'no'. Sattig develops an original three-dimensionalist picture of the material world, and argues that this picture is preferable to its four-dimensionalists rivals if ordinary thought and talk are taken seriously. Among the issues that Sattig discusses are the metaphysics of persistence, change, composition, location, coincidence, and relativity; the ontology of past, present, and future; and the semantics of predication, tense, temporal modifiers, and sortal terms.

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Tags: Einsteins, linguistics, theoretical, language, Special