Tense, timely action and self-ascription

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Abstract

I consider whether the self-ascription theory can succeed in providing a tenseless (B-theoretic) account of tensed belief and timely action. I evaluate an argument given by William Lane Craig for the conclusion that the self-ascription account of tensed belief entails a tensed theory (A-theory) of time. I claim that how one formulates the self-ascription account of tensed belief depends upon whether one takes the subject of self-ascription to be a momentary person-stage or an enduring person. I provide two different formulations of the self-ascription account of tensed belief, one that is compatible with a perdurantist account of persons and the other that is compatible with an endurantist account of persons. I argue that a self-ascription account of tensed beliefs for enduring subjects most plausibly involves the self-ascription of relations rather than properties. I argue that whether one takes the subject of self-ascription to be a momentary person-stage or an enduring person, the self-ascription theory provides a plausible B-theoretic account of how tensed belief and timely action are possible.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)112-132
Number of pages21
JournalPhilosophy and Phenomenological Research
Volume80
Issue number1
Early online date27 Dec 2009
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2010

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