TENSED_EVENTSNEW

TENSED_EVENTSNEW - TENSED LANGUAGE AND EVENTS A large...

Info iconThis preview shows pages 1–2. Sign up to view the full content.

View Full Document Right Arrow Icon
TENSED LANGUAGE AND EVENTS A large portion of philosophy in the last 75 years has been devoted to the study of language, and certain properties of language, such as reference, meaning, and truth. Today we say that a sentence S is true just in case the situation described by S obtains, or is a fact. Sentences (or propositions) are said to have truth-makers , situations, states of affairs, or facts, that make the sentence or proposition true. For example, ‘The cat is on the mat’ is true iff the thing referred to by ‘the cat’ stands in the ‘is on’ relation to the thing referred to as ‘the mat’. Or, more succinctly, ‘the cat is on the mat’ is true iff the cat is on the mat. The fact of the cat’s being on the mat is the truth-maker for the sentence ‘the cat is on the mat’. So, far quite straightforward. But puzzles arise. Consider ‘Sherlock Holmes wore a deerstalker hat.’ This sentence seems to be true, but what facts constitute its truth-maker? Or “If I hadn’t gone to graduate school, I’d have ended up a janitor.” What facts, or states of affairs in the world, would make a proposition like this true? Let’s look at sentences containing tensed verbs or predicates. ‘Jane is running’, ‘Jane was running’, ‘Jane will be running.” What potential facts would make these sentences true? Some have suggested that the facts that makes sentences like ‘Jane was running’ true are tensed facts . There is no fact that obtains now that serves as a truth maker, only facts that obtained in the past would qualify. These
Background image of page 1

Info iconThis preview has intentionally blurred sections. Sign up to view the full version.

View Full DocumentRight Arrow Icon
Image of page 2
This is the end of the preview. Sign up to access the rest of the document.

This note was uploaded on 02/14/2011 for the course PHIL 124c taught by Professor Humphrey during the Spring '11 term at UCSB.

Page1 / 2

TENSED_EVENTSNEW - TENSED LANGUAGE AND EVENTS A large...

This preview shows document pages 1 - 2. Sign up to view the full document.

View Full Document Right Arrow Icon
Ask a homework question - tutors are online