Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Presentism and referring to past individuals

It seems to me that the presentist can only de re refer to past (or future—but that's less of a problem) individuals if there are haecceities or the identity of indiscernibles is true.


Heath White said...

Couldn't you treat it like referring to fictional entities ("Sherlock Holmes")?

Of course, that would raise the problem of how to distinguish between actual past individuals and genuinely fictional ones.

Alexander R Pruss said...

I don't think we succeed in referring to fictional entities, except maybe in a highly underdetermined way.

Heath White said...

Well, we succeed in doing something in the neighborhood. Talking about them, maybe.

Anyway, if the analogy works at all, it just shows that there are way too many problems with presentism.