Wishing it were now some other time

Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 62 (1):159-166 (2001)
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One of the most serious obstacles to accepting a tenseless view of time is the challenge posed by our experience of tense. A particularly striking example of such experience, pointed out by Schlesinger but largely overlooked in the literature, is the wish felt by probably all of us at some time or other that it were now some other time. Such a wish seems evidently rational to hold, and yet on a tenseless theory of time such a wish must be regarded as irrational, since it is logically impossible for the now to be located at some other time, there being no such thing as an objective now or present. In order to accommodate rationally such a belief, most protagonists of tenseless time twist the evident meaning of the wish. Oaklander, for example, misconstrues the wish in terms of my wanting to have different perceptions. Others, like Coburn, admit frankly that such a wish is rational only on a tensed theory of time but mistakenly reject that theory on grounds that at best constitute a defeater of an argument for a tensed view of time, rather than a defeater of the tensed view itself. The argument for a tensed view of time from the experience of tense remains undefeated



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William Lane Craig
Houston Baptist University

Citations of this work

The sense of temporal flow: a higher-order account.Thomas Sattig - 2019 - Philosophical Studies 176 (11):3041-3059.
Be Careful What You Wish For: A Reply to Craig.L. Nathan Oaklander - 2008 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 76 (1):156-163.
Agency and the A-Series.Roman Altshuler - 2009 - Southwest Philosophy Review 25 (1):153-161.

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