more from Michael Dummett

Single Idea 8196

[catalogued under 27. Natural Reality / C. Space-Time / 2. Time / f. Presentism]

Full Idea

The idea that only the present is real cannot be sustained. St Augustine pointed out that the present has no duration; it is a mere boundary between past and future, and dependent on them. It also denies truth-value to statements about past or future.

Gist of Idea

The present cannot exist alone as a mere boundary; past and future truths are rendered meaningless


Michael Dummett (Truth and the Past [2001], 5)

Book Reference

Dummett,Michael: 'Truth and the Past (Dewey Lectures)' [Columbia 2004], p.74

A Reaction

To defend Presentism, I suspect that one must focus entirely on the activities of consciousness and short-term memory. All truths, of past or future, must refer totally to such mental events. But what could an event be if there is no enduring time?

Related Idea

Idea 1902 Since Socrates either died when he was alive (a contradiction) or died when he was dead (meaningless), he didn't die [Sext.Empiricus]