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Cross-Time Spatial Relations and Eternalism

Fkkize
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10/10/2015 1:45:08 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
This is basically a summary of chapter 2.2 of Theodore Sider's book Four-Dimensionalism.

Presentism has a very intuitive side and a very counterintuitive one. For example it intuitively makes sense to say that the proposition "dinosaurs exist" is wrong. This is compatible with presentism as only present objects exist. However what is rather difficult for a presentist is to make sense of propositions like 'once dinosaurs roamed the earth'. Typically presentists want to allow some talk about past and future events and therefore introduce tense operators like 'WAS(!)' and 'WILL(!)' (where '!' is some proposition), which can be informally expressed as "At some past time t, ! was is true at t" and "At some future time t, ! is true at t" respectively. For example 'Once dinosaurs roamed the earth' could be translated into 'WAS (Dinosaurs roam the earth)'. These operators are not ontologically committing.

This can get rather complicated with statements like "some American philosophers admire some ancient Greek philosophers", as at no point in time both some American and some ancient Greek philosophers exist. Translated this looks something like this.

Ex(x is an American philosopher, and WAS: Ey(y is an ancient Greek philosopher, and x admires y))
(where "E" represents the existential quantifier)

We have seen that presentists struggle with these kinds of statements, however the actual defeater is yet to come.

Consider an object O"s movement through space over the last moments. There are three possible ways this movement could be.

1) O moved along a continuous, unaccelerated path.
2) O moved along a continuous, accelerated path.
3) O moved along a discontinuous path.

The question now is how the presentist distinguishes between these options. Science requires us to compare objects' locations at different times to understand velocity and acceleration. Simply "slicing up" time with tensed operators into "snapshots" won"t do, as these don"t tell us how they line up spatially (remember, space is not fixed, but relative). The presentist has to appeal to some kind of bridge principle. There are some options, but they all fail.

The presentist might appeal to absolute space, where sameness of position is well defined, like Newtonian space. Line up all enduring points of space and the problem is gone. This, however, conflicts with our understanding of relative spacetime.

Alternatively, if instantaneous velocity were an intrinsic property, that is, how an object is at a particular instantaneous moment, then the presentist would have no problem either. However, an object"s instantaneous velocity is not just defined by how an object is at one particular time, but instead to have instantaneous v at t is to be located appropriately at infinitesimally immediate future and past times.

Therefore, eternalism is required to do science.
: At 7/2/2016 3:05:07 PM, Rational_Thinker9119 wrote:
:
: space contradicts logic
Fkkize
Posts: 2,149
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10/10/2015 1:48:39 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
Note that this is an argument against presentism, not for eternalism.
: At 7/2/2016 3:05:07 PM, Rational_Thinker9119 wrote:
:
: space contradicts logic
kp98
Posts: 729
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10/10/2015 3:52:35 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
I would defend presentism on the basis that while a past event does not exist at the present time, records of past events exist at the present time.

Thus to determine how an object moves I do not examine the objects at past times - I can't do that, because those past times do not exist - but I use the presently-existing record of the objects position.

Even if an object could be said to exist in the past and in the future (which I doubt), I cannot interact with past or future objects per se - I can only interact with what does exist now - i.e. records past events or predictions of future ones.

American philosophers admire Greek philosophers because while green philosophers do no exist at this time, their writings do exist in the present. I think it would be hard to find an American philosopher who admired a future Greek philosopher, wouldn't it?
Fkkize
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10/10/2015 4:19:39 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 10/10/2015 3:52:35 PM, kp98 wrote:
I would defend presentism on the basis that while a past event does not exist at the present time, records of past events exist at the present time.

Thus to determine how an object moves I do not examine the objects at past times - I can't do that, because those past times do not exist - but I use the presently-existing record of the objects position.

First of all, if indeterminism is true and a weak form probably is, the traces of various objects would vanish all the time.
Secondly, If determinism is true, you still cannot tell the past from how things are now. There is more than one way to bring about 1 state of affairs.

Further what traces does a rock traveling in outer space leave? Radiation? From that you can hardly tell its previous position.

Even if an object could be said to exist in the past and in the future (which I doubt), I cannot interact with past or future objects per se - I can only interact with what does exist now - i.e. records past events or predictions of future ones.

American philosophers admire Greek philosophers because while green philosophers do no exist at this time, their writings do exist in the present. I think it would be hard to find an American philosopher who admired a future Greek philosopher, wouldn't it?

Although we might admire someone because of their works, we very often admire the person directly.
: At 7/2/2016 3:05:07 PM, Rational_Thinker9119 wrote:
:
: space contradicts logic
kp98
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10/10/2015 4:57:21 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
If there are no records of the rocks movement for me to examine in the present, the supposed existence of its prior states are no use to anyone.

Although we might admire someone because of their works, we very often admire the person directly.

Yet is remains impossibe to admire a Greek pilosopher who hasn't been born yet, nor to admire a philosopher of the past who is not recorded in the present.
n7
Posts: 1,360
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10/10/2015 6:04:15 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 10/10/2015 3:52:35 PM, kp98 wrote:
I would defend presentism on the basis that while a past event does not exist at the present time, records of past events exist at the present time.

Thus to determine how an object moves I do not examine the objects at past times - I can't do that, because those past times do not exist - but I use the presently-existing record of the objects position.

Even if an object could be said to exist in the past and in the future (which I doubt), I cannot interact with past or future objects per se - I can only interact with what does exist now - i.e. records past events or predictions of future ones.

American philosophers admire Greek philosophers because while green philosophers do no exist at this time, their writings do exist in the present. I think it would be hard to find an American philosopher who admired a future Greek philosopher, wouldn't it?

This would seem to entail that the writings of a Greek philosopher are equal to the philosopher himself. The case OP is dealing with is admiring the past mind that wrote them, not the writing itself. You are answering how we come to admire past philosophers, not how the present fact of admiring relates to a past person.
404 coherent debate topic not found. Please restart the debate with clear resolution.


Uphold Marxist-Leninist-Maoist-Sargonist-n7ism.
kp98
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10/11/2015 11:24:37 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
This would seem to entail that the writings of a Greek philosopher are equal to the philosopher himself. The case OP is dealing with is admiring the past mind that wrote them, not the writing itself. You are answering how we come to admire past philosophers, not how the present fact of admiring relates to a past person.

Let me suppose you admire Socrates (as we all should!). Presumably that is because - based on writings that exists in the present - you have guessed what the man Socrates was like. Thus what you admire is not the non-existant object 'Socrates existing in the past' per se; what you admire is something that does exists at this time - ie a mental construct of the Socrates you have imagined.
skipsaweirdo
Posts: 1,872
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10/12/2015 5:16:39 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 10/10/2015 3:52:35 PM, kp98 wrote:
I would defend presentism on the basis that while a past event does not exist at the present time, records of past events exist at the present time.

Technically from my perspective the mere use of past ,present, and future entails equivocation fallacies. How can you define the past without special pleading or changing its "present" context. Example. I live in Texas and it is 11 pm Sunday. By definition to me, Monday 11 am is in the "future" or my future. Problem is it is currently 11am Monday in the Philippines. We know logically that I'm not living in the "past" and my friend Ehlyn in the Philippines isn't living in my future. So how can the concept of "numerically" defining time be applied to anything without there being a tongue and cheek logical absurdity exposing the ridiculousness of using time within a substantial argument applied to existing things? We can go beyond current 24 hour "zones" around the Earth, but how could anyone possibly use time or reference it in regards to any subject as it having an impact on anything whatsoever? Seems completely preposterous that people even engage in time discussions with a straight face. We can take the past to an extreme so its understood what some person did 100 years ago, but using time in any other way seems pointless especially when people use terms other than now or then, lol
Thus to determine how an object moves I do not examine the objects at past times - I can't do that, because those past times do not exist - but I use the presently-existing record of the objects position.

Even if an object could be said to exist in the past and in the future (which I doubt), I cannot interact with past or future objects per se - I can only interact with what does exist now - i.e. records past events or predictions of future ones.

American philosophers admire Greek philosophers because while green philosophers do no exist at this time, their writings do exist in the present. I think it would be hard to find an American philosopher who admired a future Greek philosopher, wouldn't it?
kp98
Posts: 729
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10/12/2015 11:36:05 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
Example. I live in Texas and it is 11 pm Sunday. By definition to me, Monday 11 am is in the "future" or my future. Problem is it is currently 11am Monday in the Philippines.

Using GMT that problem (if it is a problem) disappears. People in texas and people in th phillipines both have different labels for 12:00 gmt, but they are not different times.
skipsaweirdo
Posts: 1,872
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10/13/2015 11:50:34 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 10/12/2015 11:36:05 AM, kp98 wrote:
Example. I live in Texas and it is 11 pm Sunday. By definition to me, Monday 11 am is in the "future" or my future. Problem is it is currently 11am Monday in the Philippines.

Using GMT that problem (if it is a problem) disappears. People in texas and people in th phillipines both have different labels for 12:00 gmt, but they are not different times.

Lol, wrong. If I ask my friend in the philipines what day it is it's Monday, when it's Sunday here in Texas. So you can dance around the definition all you want. The fact remains If she says its 11 am Monday in the Philippines , and its 11 pm Sunday where I'm at in Texas, your GMT doesn't make anything disappear. It does however make your use of equivocation to define time differently appear. That's a fallacy by the way.