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Title:Now (Time Concepts)
Author(s):Plumer, Gilbert Edward
Department / Program:Philosophy
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Abstract:The dissertation is a study primarily in analytic metaphysics. The emphasis is on time, and the focus, on the whole, is on the notion of Now.
In the first chapter I consider Now as it figures in singular demonstrative reference by giving an exposition and partially Kantian refutation of Hegel's argument that such reference is impossible. The ability to so-refer is the ability to mean and express this, i.e., what is here and now to me. Hegel's central mistake was to confuse a demonstrative's having general applicability with standing for a generality; so he construes this on the model of a predicable. He would have individuals as properties of Spirit. Thus, this sort of opening move toward absolute idealism is blocked.
In ch. II I consider Now within the context of the question of the similarity of space and time. A methodology for constructing spatio-temporal (dis)analogies has recently become widely accepted and utilized, viz., formulating statement pairs with interchanged spatial and temporal terms, and then comparing their truth and logical status. I argue that space and time are quite dissimilar in the course of showing that this methodology, which has never been critically scrutinized, has serious deficiencies and limitations, and is paradox-generating.
In part following suggestions from Dewey, in ch. III it is shown how we may acquire the concepts of Now and time without our being able to sense time. I rationally reconstruct these concepts by 'deriving' them from the concepts of required for and sensed (taken tenselessly). Among other reasons, because activity is explicitly required for succeeding or failing, and because these ubiquitous conditions are sensed, our concept of time is rooted squarely in our experience of these conditions.
Lastly, in ch. IV I present a new argument for the objectivity and transitoriness of Now. What's new about it is that it proceeds by considering pertinent issues (like intersubjective agreement) that arise in connection with "the specious present doctrine", which falsely casts the sensory present as a (variable) interval.
Issue Date:1983
Description:216 p.
Thesis (Ph.D.)--University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 1983.
Other Identifier(s):(UMI)AAI8410023
Date Available in IDEALS:2014-12-16
Date Deposited:1983

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