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Re: [ontolog-forum] Presentism (was Re: Ontology of Rough Sets)

To: "[ontolog-forum] " <ontolog-forum@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
From: Christopher Menzel <cmenzel@xxxxxxxx>
Date: Thu, 27 Jan 2011 12:31:17 -0600
Message-id: <7B12A3BB-905E-481B-8748-9FABD8017363@xxxxxxxx>
On Jan 27, 2011, at 7:00 AM, Ronald Stamper wrote:
The only things deemed to exist in a presentist ontology (metaphysical sense) exist now.  The present is no prison because we now have signs that stand for things we wish to know about in the past and future.  

Actually, for the strict presentist, that is flatly false, because there are no "things…in the past and future" for our signs to refer to and for us to know about, for only presently existing things exist and things only exist now.  This is actually a rather radical metaphysical doctrine that encounters very serious semantic roadblocks not encountered by the standard 3D and 4D views.

Presentism, I contend, provides a valuable discipline for engineers of information systems because that's the kind of world we deal with.

Seems to me that the world we deal with is the same regardless of one's metaphysical take on time. Be that as it may, might I suggest that the view you are actually arguing for is not presentism but rather the standard (and, I think most would agree, commonsense) 3-dimensionalist view that there is a distinguished, objective, ever changing present in virtue of which things are (at any present moment) genuinely presentpast, or future?

Chris Menzel

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