Tense, Reference, and Worldmaking by James A. McGilvray

By James A. McGilvray

Utilizing Reichenbach's (1947) concept of tenses and temporal buildings as some degree of departure, McGilvray modifies it to supply a conception of his personal. Analysing the problems Reichenbach's idea has in explaining the connection of a speaker to an international, he introduces a brand new version for this dating in accordance with the three-interval temporal topology that Reichenbachian concept assigns to the sentences of typical languages. McGilvray explains and defends intimately Reichenbach's conception of stressful and temporal constitution, criticising and rejecting the main rival thought, present in demanding common sense. He additionally applies Reichenbach's nonstandard topology to English, exhibiting that it truly is right for the language. an important element of McGilvray's learn is the supplementing of Reichenbach's topology by way of together with audio system, sentences, occasions, and issues spoken approximately with the temporal durations. McGilvray relocates and reinterprets a major resource of defective intuitions referring to time and annoying -- our feeling that the prior, current, and destiny needs to be considered when it comes to the settled, the speedy, and the unsettled. He makes use of his thought to give an explanation for the temporal and semantic constitution of complicated structures in English, together with propositional attitudes, modals, and conditionals. to boot, he adapts the constitution that Reichenbach's conception assigns to sentences to the features perfective (complete) and imperfective (incomplete). the unconventional view of temporal and semantic constitution built via McGilvray touches on nearly the entire puzzles about the philosophy of language -- that means and meaningfulness, the character of reference, fact, propositions, and worldmaking. His emphasis is on how the speaker, via articulating sentences and knowing them, is either unfastened and restricted -- loose to explain whatever which are positioned at any time and in any international, yet restricted through the ideals, facts, info, and commitments held or made on the time of speech.

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Additional resources for Tense, Reference, and Worldmaking

Sample text

For example, take the English sentence 'Hamlet had been seeing Shakespeare a lot last year'; drop first its tense markers (the pair of expressions 'had been' do this job), then its RE markers ('had,' past for 'have' does this job too), its temporal adverbials referring to i R ('last year'), and its aspectual markers (the progressive '... ing' on the verb). The resulting contrived but still recognizably English "sentence" 'Hamlet see Shakespeare a lot' displays the original sentence's situation — which for the competent speaker pictures and so individuates a situation.

Saying what sorts of stances one can take is saying what sorts of forces a sentence can have (see chapter 7). In general, dealing with stances is dealing with epistemic issues, that is, with the issues raised in justifying recommendations concerning the inclusion of a content in a story - where making a particular recommendation is heavily constrained by relatively storyindependent principles of coherence and largely story-particular evidence. Thus, the SRE theory treats someone who understands on an occasion as both free and tied.

3 The 1947 Topology Supplemented10 Reichenbach's S, R, and E must be identified with more than temporal intervals alone. Everyone supplements temporal topology in some way; even the core view places a speaker at is and "something" at ip. The issue is how this supplementing should be done. We can count on agreement for some things. At the time of speech (is), there is a speaker and a sentence produced (an utterance or token). At i E , there is a situation. S and E can be identified, then, with a triple and a pair consisting of intervals and, respectively, a speaker plus a token and a situation.

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